Registrars Hold Poll Worker Appreciation Day

Poll workers pictured are Kathy McBain, Sean Olbrych, Tina Corlett, and Helen Delago. Photo Credit: Patricia Kerr

The campaign signs might have come down a month ago, but it was just last week that Greenwich election officials put the finishing touches on the 2019 election cycle with Poll Worker Appreciation Day.

Republican Registrar Fred DeCaro first conceived of the idea in 2015 as another way to retain good pollworkers and allow candidates an opportunity to personally thank them.

“Rising at 4am isn’t for the faint of heart. Arriving at your polling place at 5am, and preparing to greet two or three thousand electors over the next fourteen hours with a smile is not an easy task.”

Nibbling on sliders, sliced wraps, and crudite, about 70 poll workers attended the mid-day event, at which First Selectman Fred Camillo presented a proclamation declaring December 10 Poll Worker Appreciation Day in Greenwich.

Excitement built for the official announcement of the winner of the Greenwich Turnout Trophy. District 5 was the inaugural winner with a turnout of approximately 55% of registered voters – a tremendous achievement when compared to the statewide average of only 33.5% voting. Several of the District 5 poll workers were in attendance and Moderator Tina Corlett requested the trophy be displayed at all elections at District 5 until it was awarded against next December.

Registrar Fred DeCaro receives the official Poll Worker Appreciation Day proclamation from First Selectman Fred Camillo. Photo Credit: Patricia Kerr

The Greenwich Turnout Trophy was originated by DeCaro as a local version of the Democracy Cup, which is a statewide award to towns presented every two years. DeCaro was on hand with former Democratic Registrar Sharon Vecchiolla to receive that award when Greenwich won it in 2016. He also bid the trophy farewell when it was carted off to West Hartford in 2018. DeCaro and his new Democratic partner Mary Hegarty are unified in their desire to bring the Democracy Cup back to Greenwich after the 2020 election.

Hegarty said how glad she is to be the Democratic Registrar of Voters since being elected in 2018. “It’s an exciting time to be a Registrar, because civic engagement is robust. Voter participation is increasing. What’s special about our Registrars of Voters office is that we are a model of cooperation and civility. Each and every voter is treated as a valuable participant in the democratic process because every vote matters.

Hegarty added her own bit of whimsy to the event with short phrases tied to each of the four seat cushions given out as door prizes. The favorite of the crowd: “Election work is not a cushy job.”

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