2019 Elections

Democracy in Action, The Story of One Poll Volunteer

By Joe Trently, BDJ 664.02

Published on November 5, 2019

Behind the scenes with Voting System Specialist, Jim Steever. Video produced by (c) 2019 Joe Trently.

Show Video Transcript

(Track 1: Joe)

 

November 5, 2019. Election Day has arrived.

Onondaga county residents are out and about, fulfilling what some say is their civic duty to choose who will be in charge of their local government.

Jim Steever is the voting system specialist at this particular site for this year’s elections. He says that voting is one of your valuable rights you have, and everyone should exercise that right when there are opportunities to do so.

 

(SOT 1: Jim)

 

(“Never give up your right to vote. Whatever you do, never, never, never give up your right to vote. And remember a lot of people have sacrificed and are still sacrificing their lives and livelihood to give us this right to vote.”)

 

(Track 2: Joe)

 

This year in particular, local residents experienced some new changes.

The early voting system was put into place for this election, which means residents could vote weeks in advance of this Tuesday.

Jim says that he believes that the new system was a huge success, and that there was positive reaction from the community.

 

(SOT 2: Jim)

 

(“I would, in my own guestimation, say that we have polled some people who haven’t voted in a couple of years to come vote because now they have the early chance to do such. Overall, people are very receptive of it.”)

 

{*** Standup: Joe ***}

Now Jim is the site manager here for Election Day at the Bellevue Heights United Methodist Church. And I asked him what his favorite part about Election Day was or what his favorite tradition was, and he had a simple answer.

 

(SOT 3: Jim)

 

(“The people. And working with election inspectors that you have over the past years. It’s a good group of people to work with.”)

 

(Track 3)

 

Not everyone is very receptive or friendly when they come in to vote, but Jim believes he has built great relationships with voters and volunteers over the 19 years that he has been doing this.

 

(SOT 4: Jim)

 

(“Oh definitely yes. Definitely yes. Good and bad. But a good percentage is good.”)

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Election Day Coverage from Bellevue Heights United Methodist Church

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Election Day has arrived in Onondaga County. Local residents can head out and vote at their local designated stations. Voters aren’t the only people who have a voice on Election Day, however. The volunteers who work the stations are who make all of this happen.

Jim Steever is the Voting System Specialist this year at the Bellevue Heights United Methodist Church. He has been doing this for 19 years. He enjoys it just as much as he enjoys his right to vote.

“The people,” Steever said. “And working with election inspectors that you have over the past years. It’s a good group of people to work with.”

This year, Central New Yorkers got to experience a new method behind the voting madness. The early voting system was put into place this year, which allowed residents to head to the polls weeks in advance of this year’s elections. Steever said he believes the system was a success.

“Very receptive for those who have been made aware of the early voting system,” Steever said. “They’ve been very receptive of it. I’ve noticed more so this year. There seems to be a larger drive to get out and vote than there has been in the past.”

Steever was very straightforward on how important it is to vote, especially at the local level.

“Never give up your right to vote,” Steever said. “Whatever you do, never, never, never give up your right to vote. And remember a lot of people have sacrificed and are still sacrificing their lives or livelihood to give us this right to vote.”

The polls close at 9 p.m., Tuesday night.