On the day after election day, we salute the hard-working local officials who staff the polling stations and secure the votes. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to watch those numbers ticking across our television and computer screens all evening long.
For as long as there have been votes, there’s has needed to be somebody to count them. This 1948 image of the small Downeast town of Surry’s election workers was scanned by a student at Surry Elementary School as part of that town’s 2011-2012 Maine Community Heritage Project. These folks are standing on the steps of the Surry Town Hall.
As in many small towns, the Surry Town Hall served multiple purposes. In addition to being the site of general town business and voting, residents used the Hall for religious gatherings. Today this building is a museum for the local historical society, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But old buildings in many of Maine’s smaller, rural locations still operate as town centers with multiple functions. Maybe you even voted in one such building yesterday.
If you didn’t happen to thank an official on your way into, around, or out of your polling station on November 6–wherever it was–take a minute to do so the next chance you get. The U.S. Constitution gives you the right to vote, but your election official helps make it count.