Tim McCarthy and the Business of Good

Election Integrity

Apr 29, 2024 1:30:00 PM / by Tim McCarthy

05-2024 Post - Election Integrity



What has been your personal reaction to the news that our election system is flawed?

By 2018’s primary election, I had heard enough about election integrity that I decided I wanted to know first-hand just how messy our system is. So, I offered my services to the Ashtabula County Election Board. 

The 2024 primary that just passed marked my 6th election served.  I’m paid the munificent sum of $115 to work from 5.45 AM to 8 PM.  It’s been an interesting journey.

  • I was required to fill out a very detailed application and provide background checks including having my fingerprints taken and run through the system.
  • Each year I serve I must (again) go to, and pass, a one-hour training session.
  • In our county, a duplicate system is employed.  That is, completed ballots are kept in lock box as hard copy by being scanned (on their way in the box) for digital counting.

  • In our precinct, every task is backed up:
    - Two of us sign people in, four since we split the alphabet.
    - Several of us simply pull the blank ballot by number and precinct.
    - One of us serves as greeter and we double as ballot machine guards.
    - Our captain oversees each of these jobs and deals with any issues.
    - A rover from the county election office visits us every three hours.
  • Here is the voter’s journey:
    - Present government-issued photo ID (usually their driver’s license)
    - We match our records with their ID – every detail must match.
    - The voter’s signature must match their signature we have in our books.  
    - If all that checks out – ID, address match, signature match – we then give them a ballot, tearing off the ballot’s stub for cross checking later, if needed.
    - The voter, never us, enters their ballot into the scanning machine. Our greeter points if they need help, however, may neither look at or touch their ballot.  

Finally, here are the rules that we are trained to and are watched closely on:

  • We are prohibited from helping voters; we may only show them the sample ballots.
  • Neither we nor any voter may wear anything political (pin, button, t-shirt, etc). 
  • Occasionally a voter expresses, or asks us for, an opinion – we politely decline.   
  • We are taught that if a voter insists that we are wrong about anything, say, an unmatched signature or unmatched address, we never argue.  Instead, we provide a provisional ballot.  Provisionals are hand processed by bi-partisan election board.     

Are you still wondering if the system is flawed in your area?  Why not be an election worker?


Tim McCarthy  




05-2024 Quote - Albert Schweitzer - NewsletterQuote of the Month: Albert Schweitzer

I don't know what your destiny will be. Some of you will perhaps occupy remarkable positions. Perhaps some of you will become famous by your pens, or as artists. But I know one thing: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

---Albert Schweitzer, 1939 Aristotle College Commencement



05-2024 Song - Someone to Watch Over Me - NewsletterSong of the Month:  “Someone to Watch Over Me” George Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald

Author’s note:  Maybe it was just the mood I was in, but this song played in a coffee shop and I was dazzled by the quality of Ella's voice. Then when I looked it up on YouTube, it was cool to see this photo montage of he great woman's life.  

Listen to it here




Book(s) of The Month: Inspirations for radical change, aka
books that have given definition to my own search for meaning.05-2024 Book - 5 Books Newsletter

Editor’s note: I didn’t read anything worth sharing this month.  In fact, other than my required “brain candy”, mostly mysteries and thrillers, it was a disappointing month.  Here, then are five books that I featured in the past, chosen carefully since each changed my views about why I’m here on this earth.

  • Man’s Search for Meaning”, by Viktor Frankl
  • “New Seeds of Contemplation”, by Thomas Merton
  • When Everything You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough”, by Harold Kushner
  • “Banker to the Poor”, by Mohammed Yunus
  • “Living the Full Catastrophe”, by Jon Kabat Zinn



05-2024 Funny -  Terry and Jan -NewsletterJoke of the Month: Terry and Jan

In keeping with my recent recollections of real-life funny stories, I recall my brother, Terry, running after his wife, Jan. They had argued and Jan walked away to join my Dad who was on his way to church.  Terry: “Remember, you’re my wife”!  Jan turned around and nose-to-nose said, “Don’t rub it in”.  😊






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Tim McCarthy

Written by Tim McCarthy