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Long Shifts, Repellent And Coffee: This Is How It Is To Be A Poll Worker In Miami

Michal Kranz/WLRN
A polling place in Brickell, Miami on Tuesday

Many people who voted in Tuesday's primary only visited polling places for a few short minutes, but poll workers spent up to 12 hours at their precincts.

Robertson Adams signed up to be a poll worker at the Palmetto Presbyterian Church in South Miami for Tuesday's primary elections. It was his first time working at a precinct.


He said his precinct only got about a 10 to 15 percent turnout, but that’s not necessarily bad news.

“It was raining like crazy today. However our turnout today beat our turnout in March for the presidential primary," he said.

Adams said most people showed up in the early morning, around lunchtime and just before the polls closed at 7 p.m., and that the periods of intense rain did not stop people from turning out to vote. He said his shift was long, but he was happy to be there.

“It was a lot of fun, we had Cuban coffee a couple of times and it was very Miami. The elections department sent out three or four dozen packages of DEET, you know, in case anybody was worried about the the Zika virus," he said.

Adams says working at the polls convinced him the ballots and the ballot machines would be difficult to tamper with, because he had not been so sure about the security of voting operations previously. He plans to be a poll worker at a precinct again in November.