The smiling faces behind the election process

Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 19:11:11-05

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The presidential candidates are dominating screen times as the race for the White House enters it's final frame. But when it comes to the election itself, it's the many faces behind the scenes that will ultimately help process who becomes the 45th President of the United States.

Among the hundreds of election workers in West Michigan gearing up to work Tuesday is Patricia Westveer, a retired teacher and long-time resident of East Grand Rapids. Every year she signs up to work the polls, which she describes as an honor and a privilege.

“I think that people need to feel welcome when they come," Westveer says.

Welcoming voters on Election Day is what she has been doing the past seven years.

“We try to make it a fun day. Children when they come with their parents get stickers. We make a big whoopee about first-time voters and give them frosted cookies.”

Westveer makes the day special for first time voters because she wants them to come back year after year.

“I think that exercising our right to vote is at the heart of our democracy."

She's seen a few elections, but never one like this.

"I hope never to see one like this again. I wish that they could all be like our team at the voting precinct, because we’re on different sides of the issues and we respect each other, care about each other, about the process and know how important it is that we work together for our country.”

Westveer will be working in her usual election spot tomorrow: East Grand Rapids Middle School. She says the busiest times are first thing in the morning and after work hours.