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AFSCME members’ public service goes all the way to the polls

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By AFSCME Staff ·
AFSCME members’ public service goes all the way to the polls
Jutta Tolbert, AFSCME Local 3037

Protecting people comes naturally to Jutta Tolbert, a member of AFSCME Local 3037, who works for Florida’s health department helping keep water clean and safe for the public.

“I’m a parent, so I tend to get mother bear about it,” Tolbert says. “Right now, I feel like we’re under a lot of different threats.”

Tolbert joins more than 600 of her fellow AFSCME members who have signed up to work at the polls on Election Day to make sure voting goes smoothly. In her training, she found the elections officials were “really advocates for the voters, and they encourage the poll workers to be as well.”

Her training focused on the importance of keeping voters’ ballots secret and preserving the paper trail of votes. Tolbert said there was a real emphasis on the “sanctity” of the voting process.

Being a poll worker is a big commitment. Tolbert’s Election Day will start at 6 a.m. and go until the polls have closed and all the equipment has been put away.

“I’m going to pack a suitcase full of goodies,” she said. She may go to the county election supervisor’s office after the polls close to help observe the count.

But being a poll worker is a natural extension of public service for many AFSCME members, who already spend their days strengthening their communities. Bolstering our democracy and the right of every single American to vote is a core AFSCME value.

Tolbert is ready to put that commitment into action: “I'm excited to see what the day's going to bring.”

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