By Janet Atkins, Nassau County Supervisor of Elections
Let me begin by saying that I love being your Supervisor of Elections. One of my favorite responsibilities is to talk with potential election workers during our newly created election worker orientations. I like to start by asking people where they are from, how long they have lived in Nassau County, and what brought them here. The answers are wide-ranging: Colorado, Washington, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire, to name a few. Many of these individuals just moved here. In fact, some have never voted here, but want to get involved in our community.
Community is often defined by a government structure and geographic location; but more important is the community that is based on relationships with others that results in fellowship and caring for each other.
Even though there have been many changes in Nassau County, including wider roads, more traffic lights, and fewer trees; we have been able to maintain a sense of community that makes living here special. Working as an election worker is a great way to participate in our democracy and serve our community. The long hours are overshadowed by fellowship and camaraderie.
Several factors are considered when assigning election workers to polling locations. We try to place workers close to their residences, we pair new election workers with experienced election workers, and we balance party affiliations at each polling location. You will never find a polling location staffed with election workers from any single political party. And, of course, we use the test scores from the hands-on training sessions. We also recruit alternate election workers to ensure that all polling locations are staffed adequately despite any last-minute emergency.
There are a variety of positions available for civic-minded Nassau County voters, involving election preparations, logistics, and operations. We are looking for detail and process-oriented individuals who enjoy working with people and are comfortable with technology. Our office will employ over 400 election workers for each of the three elections in 2024. While we have many interested individuals from the Fernandina Beach and Yulee areas; we are looking to recruit workers from the Callahan, Hilliard, and Bryceville areas.
We have two remaining election worker orientations scheduled for October 5, and November 2, 2023, and will soon open enrollment for the training classes preceding the Presidential Preference Primary. New election workers must attend orientation before enrollment in training; so, if you have ever thought about being a part of the elections team, please act now. Community is a two-way street: you get out what you put in.
One final note on community: I am so grateful for the Nassau County community and election worker community that displayed their compassion and caring and shared in our family’s grieving for our sweet Emily. Your kindness will never be forgotten.
Blessings to our community!