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Democracy’s nitty-gritty hardware handling

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    BHS senior Graham Whidbe, Champion senior Rex Ashley, and BHS senior Valerie Wosnig, assisted election judge Travis Sabine with the collection and inventory of voting equipment on election night. Star photo by Elena Tucker

It was about 20 minutes after the polls closed (and about 12 minutes after the final, too-late voter straggled in attempting to cast a ballot) that polling officials began pulling up in front of the Kendall County Courthouse Annex. For security reasons, a pair of vehicles arrived separately from each precinct.

Ten BISD high school seniors - not all of them pro-Republican, not all of them pro-Democrats - had been sitting around, laughingly, heatedly discussing their political differences. They jumped up and began to unload poll paraphernalia: signs, ballot bags, and voting machines.

The voting machines aren’t paper-light and the young volunteers who lifted them onto the table in front of election judge Travis Sabine earned a sweaty sheen. Sabine – employing years of experience - clipped seals, read off numbers, removed memory cards, and handed the voting machines off to waiting hands, everything but the day’s votes to be meticulously stored away for the next election.

Over and over and over Sabine did this – processing machines that arrived from 11 precincts, throughout Boerne, from Comfort, from Bergheim, from Sisterdale. Then suddenly and unexpectedly, it was over, and some of the elections employees and volunteers began to tell each other goodnight. Some hugged goodbye because they’ve worked together for a long time...and because it had been a long day.

Since the election wasn’t a close one, elections administrator Staci Decker said that she and her staff would only remain another hour, tallying by hand every single write-in vote.

“It’s been a great day,” Decker said, “And I believe we went over (my goal of) 4,000. Not by much, but we’ll take it!”