‘We are clerks; we make it work’: The increasingly stressful duties of local election officials | Grace Bannasch/New Hampshire Public Radio
During the first week of mail-in voting, my office received nine misdirected ballots from Northampton voters for every one we received from Shutesbury. Either I drove 45 minutes across the Connecticut River to deliver these wandering ballots the day they arrived, or someone from the Northampton city clerk’s office made the same journey in the opposite direction. No matter what, these ballots got where they needed to be, so they could be counted. As my colleagues like to say, “We are clerks; we make it work.” But I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t exhausted, burned out and beaten down. I was appointed assistant town clerk in my hometown in 2019, and elected to the office of town clerk in 2020. In my short three years of clerkdom, I’ve witnessed — and had to adapt to — a fundamental transformation in how Massachusetts elections operate. Everything from voter registration to vote-by-mail has been changed by the pandemic.