Those behind the scene on Election Day show greatness without ego

Published 7:33 am Saturday, March 10, 2018

By Michael Cole


As a young man, I had a friend and mentor that had a phrase about all the baseball teams he managed. He used the phrase, “Greatness without Ego.”

The idea that a team comes together understanding that no one person on the team was better than the others. There was no room for superstars; the whole team was great, or the whole team was bad. He said egos had no place in a winning ball club.

So, this past Tuesday was the primary day in Texas.

It is the first one in three election cycles that my name was not on the ballot. Let me start off by saying that I am perfectly fine with that. I did, however, help organize and run the Democratic Primary in Orange County.

It was an eye-opening experience working on the other side of an election.

As a candidate, you are pushing up to the last minute to corral your voters to the polls. You send out those last minute mail-outs, blitz your followers by mail, email, phone calls. You are under the gun to make sure every supporter you have voted when the time comes.

When election day comes, you have no choice but to wait for the votes to be tallied.

You see the quick release of the early voting tallies. So you have a rough idea of how voting will go. And then you wait.

And wait some more. You are completely frustrated. How long does it take to count ballots?

From the other side, I found out that the toughest part of the election by far, are done by the ladies in the county Elections Division. In the space of a couple hours, they are able to check in 68 election boxes (two for each precinct in the primary), open those boxes and then have them counted.

And that count needs to be accurate and timely.

You soon realize that it is organized chaos to work the counting side of elections. Watching it, being part of it, you then realize that it is nearly a miracle that they are able to give vote counts as fast as they do.

And then you toss in early voting, mail in ballots, just when that is completed, you have all the local elections that they oversee each year.

And everyone of them has run smoothly.

We do not give the credit of greatness where it is due. The elections clerks who make our democracy work. At no time during the time, I interacted with them did I detect even the slightest of hints of politics from them. I am sure they have political views, but they were at all times fair to both sides.

The women who make our elections go smoothly are the definition of artisans of their craft. They are at ease with all the egos that politicians and parties have. They are as accommodating as possible.

Truly, we residents of Orange County owe a lot to these professionals.

Truly, they are greatness without egos.