They wiped down cardboard booths, plastic shields and clipboards. They cleaned computer screens, pens and tiny Star-Spangled Banners.
“We already had four difficult and challenging days,” Nam Do told NBC 7 on Wednesday.
After four straight days of in-person voting, Do and his fellow poll workers spent Wednesday morning breaking down their super polling station at Bay Park Elementary in Clairemont.
“We have completed our mission of allowing every person to vote,” said Do’s co-worker Jayme Howell.
Poll-site manager Steve Schweitzer said that workers traditionally break down the polling station shortly after sending their ballots to the registrar of voters. However, the pandemic forced all San Diego County poll workers to lock up shop and head home Tuesday night.
“The pandemic!” exclaimed Howell. “I think the pandemic is stressful on everyone.”
Howell, Do and Scweitzer returned to Bay Park Elementary Wednesday morning to clean all of the supplies, voting booths and computers before placing them in a storage container. Schweitzer said breaking down usually takes a couple of hours on Election Night. He said cleaning everything added at least another hour.
“Oh, I feel great,” said a well-rested Janice Fuqua. “As far as the hours go, I was glad to get it over with.”
“I’m happy that it’s over,” added Do, who was able to watch some of the returns on TV for the first time. Poll workers usually miss that coverage on Election Night while they break down.
“I’m still a little bit nervous about the final result of this election,” Do admitted.
“This year was a little trivial because of both candidates,” Howell said. “And I still turned on the TV before I came here!”
Despite the four days of voting and fifth day of cleaning, Howell said the San Diego County Registrar of Voters should adopt some of the changes. He liked offering voters four days to cast a ballot and the digital tools to move the process along.
“If the county has the money to be able to do it again, in the same fashion, I would suggest to them that is the best way to do it,” Howell said.