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Election Day 2012: Taking part in the U.S. electoral process

Joyce Neu served as an international electoral observer in Uganda’s 2006 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, but had never worked at the polls in her home country, the U.S.  On November 6, Joyce was a poll worker at a polling station a few miles from her home, helping U.S. citizens cast their ballots.  The ballot machine that accepts the completed ballots from the voter and drops them automatically into the sealed ballot box, stopped functioning within 30 minutes of the opening of the polling station.  The woman in charge of the station insisted the voting would continue without pause and that the ballots would be inserted into the ballot  box manually through a narrow slot (and voters could watch us put them in).  The machine was fixed a few hours later and all of the ballots were counted.  In the U.S. as anywhere else, for free and fair elections, machines may fail but people cannot.