A tale of two poll workers

One just starting, the other in her 54th year

By D. Anthony Botkin - abotkin@civitasmedia.com




How does it feel to vote in the presidential election for the first time after living in the United States for 25 years and just becoming a citizen?

“I’m very excited about it,” said Corinna Nixdorf Honscheid of Powell. “I think it will be very historical.”

Honscheid isn’t only excited about voting for the first time but she has also volunteered as a poll worker for the November election. “I’ll work in the precinct that we live in,” Honscheid said.

Honscheid said she heard from a friend what it’s like to spend a day working the polls. “My friend said it’s a very exhausting day but very rewarding,” she said. “She said they didn’t make it out until 10:30 at night.”

Honscheid and her husband, Klaus, moved to the United States from Germany in 1990 with the thought of going back in three years.

“After 25 years, this is our home — our friends and neighbors,” Honscheid said.

“You live here and you feel at home but you can’t vote. It’s hard.”

Honscheid said becoming an U. S. citizen didn’t hit her until she and her husband were sworn in. “It hit me emotionally when taking the oath,” she said. “I wanted to do a little more.”

Honscheid said that both her children were born in the United States, which made them citizens. Once they turned 18 years old, they were encouraged to vote.

“Our daughter got to vote in the primary and be a poll worker,” Honscheid said. “She beat me to it.”

Honscheid said both her son and daughter will be away at college this November but will vote by absentee ballots.

Honscheid said she and her family believe in serving the community. One of the ways they have served is by volunteering at the Ohio Wildlife Center, caring for the program’s animals.

“We believe in serving our community,” Honscheid said. “We have served the community for many years.”

This election cycle will also be historical for Helen Christensen of Genoa Township who has served as a poll worker since 1961.

Christensen said she has been a poll worker for 54 years in Delaware County. She said she started at a poll that was located in the basement of a church and there were only paper ballots.

“There have been so many changes over the years,” Christensen said. “The process of getting the people through the line is a lot better now.”

Christensen said everything was totaled by hand with paper ballots.

“We were there one night till 3 a.m., trying to get the tally to total up right,” Christensen said. “Nowadays, it’s 11 p.m. or after when I’m home.”

Christensen has seen many changes in equipment and the voting process. She said she likes not having to move the big old books around anymore.

“It’s easier now that we use the driver license thing,” she said. “It got rid of the books. They were getting so heavy. Spinning the book and flipping the pages back and forth wore me out.”

Christensen said she has heard Delaware County is expecting an 80 percent voter turnout in November. “I thought — yeah, we’re going to be busy.”


One just starting, the other in her 54th year

By D. Anthony Botkin


D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.