At 5:15 a.m. I arrive at the Wilton High School Clune Center. The brisk autumn air sends shivers through my body helping me stay awake. This is the second year I worked at the Election Day polls. To me, Election Day always possesses a sort of frenetic energy. Perhaps it’s the collection of proud memories I have while accompanying my parents to vote as a kid or maybe it’s the well-appreciated day off from school. Despite not being quite old enough to vote this year (50 days short to be exact), I choose to be involved in a different way — manning the ballot box to ensure that people filled out their ballots properly when they cast their vote.
There is something truly significant about witnessing an election in the works. Just before 6 a.m., a line of people eager to vote prior to going to work or beginning their morning exercise forms at the entryway of the polling place. Over the course of the day, I spot countless familiar faces from my beloved fourth-grade teacher to a former neighbor. Moms and dads come to vote with their children in tow, explaining to them, “We can’t fill in every bubble, we have to pick the best candidate.” They endure the process, watching as the machine startlingly swallows the ballot and enthusiastically receiving the essential “I Voted” sticker on their way out the door. Plenty of my older peers reach a milestone on this day as well. Aside from being legally able to skydive, purchase a lottery ticket, or enlist in the army — they exercise their right to vote for the very first time!