Behind the Ballot: What it's like to be a poll worker

Shelby Taylor, a poll worker on election day. 

Although Shelby Taylor has gotten students to vote for eight years, this election has validated her hard work.  

"I haven't quite seen something so robust in terms of the nation and state coordination on campus," Taylor said. "Civic infrastructure as a state is starting to pay its dividends."

Taylor, a 36-year-old communications director for Bob Graham Center, will work her third election at the 31st precinct at the Reitz Union. Taylor's day started at 6 a.m., but if she’s being optimistic, she said, the day will end at 11 p.m.

Taylor said she felt like she was making an impact when she helped a student vote for the first time just minutes before the 7 p.m. deadline. The student took a bus back to campus to her precinct during a storm, and Taylor said she was impressed by students' determination, which was reminiscent of hers.

Poll workers do get paid, but many volunteer their time because of their passion for civic engagement, Taylor said. In fact, she said she donates her funds to charities such as the Make A Wish foundation through a program called Adopt a Precinct.

"Oh boy, did it keep it me busy, but as a person who works professionally day in and day out to try and see these kind of results, it’s validating that we're making a difference on this campus," Taylor said.

Contact Alyssa Ramos at ar[email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LysKRamos