Old and young poll workers talk about why they do it

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FAYETTE/BOURBON COUNTIES, Ky. (WTVQ) — Not until the pandemic did we classify poll worker as a risky position and since most workers are older and more susceptible to getting COVID-19, the state asked for younger volunteers.

We found both young and old willing to put themselves at-risk so you can vote.

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“It’s a fulfilling thing to do and I’ve been honored to be here, actually I’m proud to do it,” says Fayette County poll worker Lorraine Butler.

Butler’s working her second election. Despite the pandemic she’s taking the health risk.

“I’s my duty to do this and ya know, all the people in there feel the same,” says Butler.

She says in Lexington she feels safe with all the precautionary measures in place.

That’s how Robert Fuller feels in Bourbon County where he’s been a poll worker for a decade. And, though he feels safe he’s also counting on the voters to do their part.

“Rrelying on the community to be aware of their own susceptibility and try to protect me as much as they can within reason,” says poll worker Robert Fuller.

The risk is worth it to him, in part, because of the satisfaction he gets from helping first-time voters.

“I know you’ve never done this before, this is the process, this is how it works and, if you have any questions raise your hand,” says he says with a smile.

Morehead State student Mick Seither is one of the young people stepping up to protect those more at-risk in his hometown of Paris.

“Most election workers are over the age of 70 and over the age 60,” says poll worker Mick Seither. “They’re part of the very dangerous demographics right now to be exposed to the public so if I can take somebody’s place I’m happy to do it.”

It’s an hour drive from Morehead to Paris. He says he could work a job closer but doesn’t want to.

“It’s a lot more fulfilling to do election work,” says Seither. “I feel like I’m making a difference and serving my country.”

Though he wants to protect, Seither says we need to commend the older generations still willing, during a pandemic, to do this important work.

“It’s more dangerous for them to work and they’re still doing it and doing a great job at it,” says Seither.

Young and old putting themselves at-risk so the rest can exercise their right to vote.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.