In a long and active campaign season, the focus is on those who are running for office. Few give much thought to the people who make that election happen.
Behind the scenes is a task force of people entrusted to bring in the vote with absolute accuracy on what will be a very long November 7 in their world.
The Buena Vista County election workers have been quietly preparing for this task for some time, learning how to handle our votes and make sure everyone who chooses to use their right to vote has it counted fairly and accurately.
On November 2, the people who will man the precincts today met for a School of Instruction.
County Commissioner of Elections Karen Strawn goes over the issues, rules and requirements for the workers. The two-hour session also allows for questions and education in how to used the voting machine technology.
This year, local officials decided not to let these people go unappreciated. At the start of their school, Board of Supervisor Chairman Bill Lanphere read a proclamation declaring that it was National Election Worker Appreciation Week.
"We just want to take the time to thank you for all the work you do," Lanphere said. "Many people may not realize how hard you all work but it is truly appreciated."
Lanphere also explained that without the willing workers, the democratic process could not be as strong as it is today.
"I would like to say thank you to everyone," Strawn added. "You all have best group of election workers I've had the pleasure to work with from people who are doing it for the first time to people working for years. It is not easy learning new rules and forgetting old ones."
All the workers from the 13 different precincts of the county were given copies of the proclamation as well as special pins for all voter workers.
Also 41 workers were recognized for their work and completing extra training to become certified as election officers. They will receive a certification lapel pin. To become certified, three two-hour classes were required as part of the requirements.
Strawn also pointed that within the next five weeks there will be four elections. The general election today, Iowa Central Community College special election on December 5, Special election to extend the SILO school tax and to fill the vacant Iowa House seat on December 12. There is also the tentative date of December 9 for the bond issue for the Storm Lake school district's new elementary.