During Tuesday’s primary election, Lori Cackler, Precinct 10 supervising judge, enjoyed an issue of the magazine Birds & Blooms. Fellow poll worker Barbara Pitner flipped through an issue of The Economist. The precinct’s third worker, Kathy Callen, made some serious progress on a Stieg Larsson novel.
The poll workers at the Burge Union had a lot of down time during their 14-hour work day, as the precinct, which includes the Kansas University residence halls, saw only three voters as of 5 p.m.
The precinct reported the lowest turnout in the area, but it wasn’t a surprise, said Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew. The site traditionally has a low turnout, particularly when KU is not in session, he said. Closing the precinct, he said, would actually cost the county more money because they’d be required to mail notifications to all registered voters in the precinct. The county pays election workers between $85 and $100 depending on their responsibilities.
Despite few voters, Cackler said it was their job to be there no matter how many voters showed up, and the trio enjoyed the time reading, talking and eating.
“We really had a good time,” Cackler said.