Meet Two of Your Local Election Workers
Author: Clerk-Recorder’s Office
6/21/2018 2:46:56 PM
Look behind the scenes at the election process with the people who facilitate democracy.
The buzz of Election Night was palpable. The polls had been closed for several hours as Deputy Clerk-Recorder Jamila Brown and Deputy Clerk-Recorder Julianne Goble wrapped up their busy (and long) workday.
Both women, along with other County employees and community members, had worked from the early morning hours on Election Day into the late hours of the night. And the energy never waned.
“It’s exciting, so I didn’t feel tired.” Brown said of Election Day. “We were there well into the night, but it’s fun.”
Elections are more than poll numbers, results, campaigns and politics. Elections are about people. Elections are the cornerstone of our society. Behind the scenes, elections are facilitated by employees at the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office for the people of San Luis Obispo County. These County employees ensure the integrity of the election process and this year oversaw more than 1,000 community members who served as poll workers across San Luis Obispo County.
"The elections staff worked tirelessly on Election Day through the night, taking pride in facilitating democracy in our community,” said County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong. “They are some of the hardest-working County employees and are commended for a job well done!"
But, as anyone in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office will tell you, an election doesn’t begin and end on Election Day. And for a few weeks prior to Election Day, Brown and Goble moved from their desks in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office to serve the public in their new temporary workspace: The official Elections Window.
Starting on May 7, Brown and Goble were the only two of the Clerk-Recorder’s Office 23 staff members to serve the public full-time at the Elections Window during the 2018 Primary Election in the County Government Center in downtown San Luis Obispo. The State requires two staff members because the elections office now prints ballots, a process that is heavily audited and scrutinized by the State of California.
“There are a lot of little pieces to the election that people don’t see,” Brown said. “But we’re very transparent about it all. Any member of the public can come observe the elections office behind the scenes. They just have to check in at the front counter in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office.”
To help the 2018 Primary Election run smoothly, the two women joined more than 1,100 other election workers, including 21 other Clerk-Recorder staff members and 1,079 poll workers serving at precincts around San Luis Obispo County.
“Elections are my favorite part of this job,” Goble said. “You feel like you’re a part of democracy, helping to continue the democratic process.”
When they aren’t working full time at the Elections Window, both ladies serve the public as two of the friendly faces working the front counter for the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. On a typical day, they record public documents, process fictitious business name filings, schedule civil marriage ceremonies, process marriage license applications, and more. They also process online voter registrations for the people of San Luis Obispo County.
“It’s a good feeling,” Brown added. “We’re doing something important for the state, for our country.”
Brown described the first two days at the Elections Window in May as very demanding. Then there was a slight lull, but “the phones didn’t stop ringing,” she said.
“It really picked up when voter registration closed on May 21st and then the Thursday and Friday before Election Day,” Goble added. “I like people and I like connecting with people, so I had a good time. We’re here no matter what, so we want as many people to vote and participate in the election process as possible. It makes our jobs even more worthwhile.”
But while Brown and Goble were busy at the Elections Window, their team at the Clerk-Recorder’s Office had to make do without them to complete day-to-day tasks not related to the election.
“Our team is amazing,” Brown said. “The way we pulled together is wonderful. Everyone came together to get the job done and we had a good time.”
Goble added that even though the normal office functions were short-staffed, excellent public service never wavered.
“They were still doing everything else, while we worked full time at the elections window,” Goble said. “They recorded documents, processed marriage licenses, and provided other Clerk-Recorder services that aren’t election-related. They are rock stars for pulling it off.”