“You’re Doing Your Part”
First-Time Election Judge Encourages Others to Get Involved (and Get Paid)
Nikki Tennant has been voting by mail for nearly 50 years, but it wasn’t until this summer that she decided to play a bigger, vital role in the election process.
“There’s a lot of responsibility on a lot of people to get a ballot from the voters all the way to the final tally,” said Nikki, who lived in Washington and California (both vote-by-mail states like Colorado) before settling in Aurora. “I took it for granted.”
This spring, Nikki’s neighbors encouraged her to work as an election judge in the June 30 Primary Election. About 80% of Arapahoe County’s temporary election judges have worked previous elections, but opening, verifying, scanning and tabulating ballots was all new to her.
She was impressed by the size of the County’s elections warehouse, and the task: 170,165 ballots were cast in the Primary, and over 99 percent of those came through the mail or from one of the 30 drop boxes throughout the County.
Thanks to Nikki and her 194 dedicated coworkers, the entire ballot counting process was conducted smoothly and on schedule, even with record-breaking turnout and an avalanche of envelopes.
“It was quite amazing how quickly we went through thousands and thousands of ballots… Arapahoe is a big county,” Nikki said. But “none of it was hard at all, you can learn the process in two minutes.”
Nikki plans to do it all again in the fall, and she hopes a lot of her like-minded neighbors around the County join her—Arapahoe County will need more than 450 temporary election judges for the General Election.
“The whole experience was very rewarding; you feel like you’re doing your part,” Nikki said. “As citizens we’re obligated to help, and I’m glad I did it. The fact that they paid me was just an added bonus.”
Election judges like Nikki ensure our elections are fair, transparent and secure. To apply to become an election judge, go to https://www.arapahoevotes.com/election-judges.