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Casting Their Vote

Voters fill out their ballots at the Coconino County administrative offices in Flagstaff in this 2016 photo.

I want to offer another perspective on Arizona’s 2018 General Election, and outline why Coconino County voters are represented by very competent leadership.

For every election, the County Office of the Recorder hires temporary clerical staff like me for the challenging process of conducting a fair, impartial and accurate election. In each job, there is always an equal mix of political parties represented onsite; assigned tasks focused solely on how the team could most efficiently help Coconino County residents, from Fredonia to Forest Lakes and points in between, exercise their right to vote.   

Staff worked often nights and weekends to personally contact registrants whose signatures on returned ballot affidavit envelopes often deviated substantially from what was signed on the initial voter registration form. This process included personal phone calls, emails or text messages; almost to a person, voters expressed pleased disbelief that a staffer from Voter Registration actually contacted them personally.   

Equally impressive is the Coconino County Outreach team, all Tribal members fluent in Navajo or Hopi, who gave up many nights of being in their own homes to crisscross the expansive northern Arizona reservation areas, visiting Chapter Houses and community centers to help people register to vote, and answer questions. No outlying area is too remote for these dedicated county employees; each voter matters.

I can only invite those who throw out accusations, with little concept of the actual job required, to volunteer for the next election. You will work alongside employees of all political persuasions who are dedicated to our right to vote with complete anonymity and privacy, while upholding all legal protocols.   

We could not have made it without the County’s dedicated mailroom staff, especially Roberta “Tink” Philmer Irvin, who kept thousands of pieces of correspondence on track and on time, every day.      

When you cast your ballot at any election, you are safeguarding the freedom that truly makes America great. And wherever you vote in Arizona, your own County Recorder’s Office staff and volunteers will be standing right there next to you, representing and upholding the spirit of true, dedicated public service.  

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Anne Worthington is a Flagstaff resident.

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