ATLANTA — During this historic election cycle, the last batch of votes is still being tallied throughout the country. This brings a spotlight to election staff who are working around the clock to make sure every vote is counted.
They are the essential workers of this election cycle. While many election workers made headlines, what wasn’t shared was all they had to endure.
As live video circulated nationwide showing numerous polling sites as the ballots were being counted, all eyes were on election workers who played their part in democracy.
“I wasn’t prepared to be in the national spotlight. I know the magnitude of this election was something that we’ve never seen,” Kamardi Carter said.
Carter was a polling manager at one of the precincts in metro Atlanta. He said everyone on his team felt the pressure, but they knew what they signed up for.
“It’s all about accuracy versus speed,” Carter said, as he described the level of patience required during a long, tough week like this unprecedented election cycle.
Some election workers ended up going viral. For example, in Fulton County, a staff member was falsely accused of throwing out a ballot in a video clip that went viral on social media. County officials spoke out about the false claims.
“He is currently in hiding because he’s had threats,” the Fulton County election chief Richard Barron said during a press conference.
Election workers also risked their health during the pandemic as some tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the country.
In addition to that, election workers also endured intimidation when crowds gathered outside of polling places demanding that staff stop the vote. In other locations, crowds demanded they keep counting the ballots.
Carter said that, despite the challenges, he’s proud to be an essential part of this historic election cycle.
“I can look back on and tell my kids, I was a part of this monumental election,” Carter said.