Primary Election Day ‘Like Christmas,’ Poll Worker Says
The primary election on Tuesday is over, but the good vibes of watching democracy at work remain.
"Honestly, today is like Christmas for election workers," election worker Beth Worthen said in the lobby of the Old Courthouse, 200 N. Center St., on Tuesday evening.
A six-year veteran of working elections, Worthen oversaw the voting at the Wardwell polling place, which is at the Wardwell Water and Sewer District, 4150 Salt Creek Highway.
She had just dropped off the hard drive and other items within an hour of the closing of the polls at 7 p.m. She and three others were there to assist residents who live south of Bar Nunn, she added.
Natrona County Commission administrative assistant Michelle Maines and Deputy Natrona County Clerk Reina Wagner received the items from the poll workers and put them in boxes labeled, "poll books," "keys," "provisional" ballots, "registrations," and "spoiled."
Worthen said the numbers of voters and those changing parties were up this year. "It was consistently extremely busy."
So busy that Worthen needed to call the Natrona Clerk's Office about 4:30 p.m. to request more ballots.
In 2020, there were about 200 people who cast ballots, Worthen said. "This year it was more than 300."
Besides those changing from Democratic to Republican, a lot of voters listed as independent registered as Republican, she said.
Lorene Peterson, who worked the polls at the Natrona County Public Library, dropped off her hard drive and other items and echoed Worthen.
"It was steady," Peterson said.
Election worker Jerald Rager had similar experiences.
He worked at the Restoration Church, S. 411 Walsh Drive, where residents of six precincts voted.
Voter turnout there was up 40% compared to the presidential election in 2020, Rager said.
So was the number of people who changed parties, he said.
In 2020, about 10% to 15% of the registered voters listed their party as Democratic.
This time, only five of the total 341 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary, Rager said.
He also observed how grateful people said they were to show identification to the poll workers. "There was not one dissent out of 341."
The only problem Rager and the other poll workers happened when the internet connecting them to the other polling places went down for 30 minutes, he said.
That was the internet, only.
The voting machines themselves, Rager emphasized, are not connected to the internet and cannot be hacked.
Natrona County Public Library and Wyoming Game & Fish Serve as Voting Locations
People at the Polls