ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — The Secretary of State is encouraging Alabamians to serve their community as poll workers.

News 19 spoke with one Limestone County poll worker who has more than a decade of service, Lynn Abernathy.

Abernathy is a retired Limestone County educator — something Probate Judge Charles Woodroof says makes her good at the job of a poll worker because of her attention to detail and order.

The school I taught in, they had voting there all the time and all the matriarchs and patriarchs would be there to do the voting polls so I thought when I get old enough that’s what I want to do,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy started helping with elections in Limestone County as a poll worker in 2008.

“I believe in a democracy that every vote counts. And I believe somebody has to be there to get it set up. Somebody has to make it run so that we can all vote,” she continued.

She’s now an inspector running the polling location and overseeing voting operations at her old school.

“We’ve heard a lot about the integrity of the voting process well we are the go-between to make sure it gets done correctly,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy says one of her favorite parts is getting to see people from her past.

“Twenty-seven years and there are 27 sets of children out there that I made some impression on,” Abernathy told News 19. “One of the stories, I have a little Hispanic boy I taught in kindergarten. The year before last he came through and voted and I was so proud of him for on his eighteenth birthday he made sure to come through and vote.”

And she encourages young people to consider the civic duty of being poll workers.

“If you’re a young person and you’re looking to make a difference in your community, it’s one of the smallest things you can do. It’s only one day of work. It’s a long day but it’s just one day of work and you can make a difference,” said Abernathy.

Here are the requirements to be a poll worker in Alabama:

  • Registered voter in the state of Alabama
  • Registered to vote in the county in which they want to act as a poll worker
  • Must attend mandatory poll worker training session. (no exceptions)
  • Cannot be a member of a candidate’s immediate family or the second degree of kinship
  • Cannot be a member of a candidate’s political committee.

For those interested in serving, the poll worker application must also be returned to your county probate judge for consideration.