Volunteer Happy to Help Despite Low Voter Turnout

The campaign signs planted along Calvert Street and Connecticut Avenue were plenty, but voter turnout was scarce at Precincts 26 and 136.

Volunteers from the D.C. Board of Election and Ethics sat comfortably while greeting residents of Ward 3 until there was a mix-up with Dana Fink’s registration location. It turned out Fink was registered to drop her ballot at Precinct 26, Oyster Bilingual School, Escuela Bilingue Oyster, at Calvert and Cleveland Street in Northwest D.C.

First-time volunteer and special ballot clerk Jean Bockry quickly resolved the issue.

“My first day was yesterday,” Bockry said. “It consisted of setting up for today.”

Bockry found out about this unique opportunity to do civil service two weeks ago while downtown.

“They asked me, ‘Have you voted yet?’ I said, ‘No,’ she explains while leaning on her station table covered with a white tablecloth.

She was quickly introduced to someone from the board of elections who told her about other ways she could become involved as a voter.

“I thought they had specialized people — people that do this stuff.” Bockry lives in Ward 7, but says her short experience with election polls has been a team effort.

Bockry and the other volunteers put up red arrows directing voters to the polls on the back part of Precinct 136 at the Leading Age building.  They covered windows with signs reminding the voters and volunteers to turn off cell phones, dispose of refreshments and leave pets outside.

By 5:40 p.m. Precinct 136 had served about 150 voters for the day. It was a light voter turnout, but Bockry, who works in the health-care industry, was pleased to give her time from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.