Central New York Poll Worker Victor Sawenko talks about the past 14 years volunteering at the polls.(c) 2021 Allison Turner

Eastern Suburbs

Longtime Poll Worker Celebrates 14 Years Volunteering

Video

Anchor: HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE VOLUNTEER TO WORK AT THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY, BUT NOT ALL CONTINUE DOING IT FOR MANY YEARS. DEMOCRACY IN ACTION REPORTER ALLISON TURNER TELLS US ABOUT ONE WORKER WHO VOLUNTEERED ONCE AND HAS KEPT COMING BACK FOR MORE.

Reporter: WHEN VICTOR SAWENKO MOVED TO NEW YORK, HE IMMEDIATELY DECIDED TO VOLUNTEER AT THE POLLS IN THE 2008 ELECTION. ONCE HE DID, HE WAS HOOKED, AND HAS BEEN DOING IT FOR THE PAST THIRTEEN YEARS.

Victor Sawenko: When I retired, I didn’t wanna be bored, and got involved in many issues.

Reporter: WHAT STARTED AS SOMETHING TO DO TO KEEP HIM BUSY HAS TURNED INTO AN EVENT SAWENKO LOOKS FORWARD TO EACH NOVEMBER. BECAUSE OF HIS DEDICATION YEAR AFTER YEAR, SAWENKO HAS BEEN ABLE TO MOVE UP IN HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AT THE POLLS.

Sawenko: And I’ve been a machine specialist I think for ten years, and before that I was a common, you know, poll worker.

Reporter: SAWENKO HAS MANY INTERESTS, INCLUDING HISTORY, AND HE SAYS THAT HE’S BEEN ABLE TO APPLY THIS INTEREST WHILE VOLUNTEERING AT THE POLLS.

Sawenko: History, I was born in Germany at the tail end of the war, and history was my favorite subject in school, and math was my second subject, and politics were always in history.

Reporter: ALTHOUGH SAWENKO ENJOYS THE HISTORY AND POLITICAL SIDE OF ELECTION DAY, HE SAYS HE ALSO ENJOYS THE HUMAN ASPECT.

Sawenko: Meeting the people, and getting their reaction to the, you know, candidates.

Reporter: SAWENKO BEGAN WORKING AT THE POLLS AT 5 AM AND WILL CONTINUE WORKING UNTIL THE POLLS CLOSE TONIGHT. FOR DEMOCRACY IN ACTION, I’M ALLISON TURNER.

Anchor: POLLS IN NEW YORK STATE WILL CLOSE TONIGHT AT 9.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (DiA) – Hundreds of people volunteer to work at the polls on election day across the country each year, but not everyone keeps coming back.

Victor Sawenko began volunteering at the polls in the 2008 presidential election after moving to New York from Pennsylvania. He had recently retired, and was looking for things to do to keep himself occupied. He had always had an interest in history and politics, so he decided to volunteer at the polls.

“When I retired, I didn’t want to be bored, so I got involved in many issues,” said Sawenko.

He really enjoyed himself, so he kept going back to volunteer. Eventually, he was able to move up and try different jobs on election day.

“And I’ve been a machine specialist I think for ten years, and before that I was a common, you know, poll worker,” said Sawenko.

Sawenko says he enjoys all parts of the job, but mostly, he enjoys talking with people and getting to know them and the candidates.

“Meeting the people, and getting their reaction to the, you know, candidates,” said Sawenko.

Sawenko will continue working at the Fayetteville Free Library polling place until the polls close at 9 o’clock tonight.

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