Voting sounds easy, but have you ever had to organize a poll big enough for the entire united states? I didn’t think so. Two million poll workers get together for each federal election, almost the same amount as worldwide Walmart workers.
For these poll workers, it isn’t just a side job for extra money, it’s real work, and is accessible to most Americans. Even high school students are eligible to be poll workers, so long as they keep their GPA at a solid 2.5 and are a US citizen.
But once the ballot box is sealed, that’s where the magic happens. Once the last vote has been cast, the sealed boxes are sent to a general vote counting facility where they are to be counted using methods that vary between what voting style has been used. With paper ballots, election officials read the ballots and add up the votes for each race. Punch card ballots are a bit more simple to process as only the number of ballots are counted then run through a mechanical card punch reader. The computerized ballots are directly transmitted to a counting facility or through removable media to be counted.
However, election preparedness varies greatly among the states, as some are more equipped than others. Inability to maintain electronic voting machines can lead to tens of thousands of dollars of repair and miscounted/void votes. During the 2004 presidential elections, voters waited in lines for more than 10 hours to cast their votes in Ohio; the last vote was cast at 4 in morning! With the help of HAVA, though, the Help America Vote Act, much needed funding and support is awarded to states with outdated voting techniques and new technologies.
To learn more about the logistics of voting check out the infographic below presented by Click Software.