On Nov. 6, a group of women from the Belle Haven area will volunteer at West Potomac High School for Election Day. The group of six, according to the Office of Elections, is the largest group to volunteer together and younger than their usual volunteers.
Peggy McLeland has volunteered for many years and said she watched the people who worked the polls who she described as her parents’ age. Usually, many volunteers are retirees. People working the polling stations usually help for about 16 hours on Election Day, and McLeland said you need stamina to make it.
“I watched each election somebody had to drop out because it is a long day,” McLeland said. “They just couldn’t do it anymore. When I said I would sign up, I knew they needed people.”
McLeland put out an email through her community’s citizens association to get other people involved with this year’s Election Day. She said she really wanted to encourage people to take action instead of just talking about volunteering.
“I think a lot of times you think, ‘Oh I should do that or I could do that.’ But you don’t take the time right then to click on the link or look it up yourself,” McLeland said. “So I gave them several options to click on the link to Fairfax County or to call me.”
Volunteers will most likely be at polling stations preparing as early as 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, McLeland said. She said the county needs people to volunteer even though this is a long, hard day.
Kate Goelz will also volunteer during Election Day at West Potomac. Goelz has also volunteered for many years, and she said she’s been inspired by McLeland and her own mother to volunteer and vote regularly.
“Peggy is a great inspiration and my mother volunteered up in Massachusetts for years,” said Goelz. “As volunteers, you’re a part of maintaining the democratic frontline. I’ve voted in every election I’ve ever had the right to vote in, and you want to set an example for your kids and for your neighbors.”
Goelz said there something very patriotic about voting and volunteering at a polling station. She said everyone is worried about the economy, and during the election it’s important to remind people that “every vote counts.”
Along with McLeland and Goelz, Kara Cosby, Molly Singerling, Victoria Coward and Kathryn Nealora will also volunteer at West Potomac High School.
For more information about volunteering during Election Day, visit the Fairfax County website.