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Pleasant experience at polls

I’m a West Virginia and Wood County native and lived here all my life. I was old enough to vote for the first time way back in the 1960 Kennedy / Nixon election and I’ve never passed on a voting opportunity in the intervening 60 years. I decided weeks ago that I’d definitely be voting early this year.

In 60 years I’ve never had to wait in line to vote and seldom had more than half a dozen voters in front of me at any election so I planned to get to the polling station maybe 10 minutes before the poles opened at 8:30 and I’d be home for breakfast by 9 a.m. Dream on Alice. Wonderland is just around the corner.

I arrived at the Judge Black Courthouse Annex at 8:25 a.m. and got the surprise of the day. The Market Street sidewalk in front of the Annex was wall-to-wall people. I thought, what the heck. I’m here so I’ll hang around and vote and I took my place at the end of a long line. Thought I’d probably be there most of the morning. No so!

First, I was surprise at how pleasant everybody was. People waiting in long lines usually aren’t very pleasant.

I was surprised at how smoothly and briskly the line moved. When I reached the front door of the Annex, the line behind me extended around the corner and out of sight onto 4th Street.

There were four clerks checking IDs and everything moved quickly and efficiently. When I reached the voting computer the clerk handed me a Q-Tip. My response was, what’s this for? She very politely told me not to touch the computer screen with my dirty COVID fingers. Use the Q-Tip to touch the screen. How simple! How smart! Beautiful!

The whole experience was smooth and efficient and only took 65 minutes from beginning to end. Some states are working overtime trying to screw citizens out of their voting rights and making it near impossible for some people to vote. Wood County is doing just the opposite.

Someone anticipated the potential for major voting problems this year and made plans accordingly. Our Wood County voting officials and poll workers deserve all the praise we can give them.

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg

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