For several weeks members of our staff at Town Hall was occupied screening and processing early voters in the recent presidential election. If it were just a matter of checking our Cave Creek precinct records and directing them to the voting booths, it would have been much easier. But many people, both young and old, had never voted before. Inconsistencies between county records, which Cave Creek does not have, and the forms voters filled out had to be rectified. Ballots had to be printed for each voter.
This would have been a more manageable burden if our staff were required to served only residents of our local voting precinct. But Town Hall was flooded with people from throughout the North Phoenix area whose choices were to come to Cave Creek, or drive to (and park in) downtown Phoenix.
People were waiting in line before Town Hall opened in the morning and dozens of people who showed up by 5 pm when Town Hall normally closes were serviced until everyone who arrived on time was processed. On some days, our staff stayed as much as two hours after their normal departure times. They also had to deal with the (understandable) frustrations of voters who sent hours waiting to vote.
Some staff is paid by the hour and received compensation for their extra hours. But many are “salaried” and this extra time is not compensated. In addition, there was no reduction in the normal work of town staff which had to be balanced with the enormous responsibility of servicing voters.
On election day, the county provided people and resources that were not needed at that time. I hope that in the future the county will also provide the resources needed for early voters.
I thank our staff, especially those who gave their personal time, to provide citizens the opportunity to vote.
Cave Creek Councilman