Rita Chavez Medina and Helen Garza, who have worked at Santa Clara County's polling places every election day for more than a half century, were recognized for their contributions on Tuesday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Medina has staffed the polls for 60 years -- starting the year that war hero Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower beat Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson in a landslide vote for the presidency. Garza has worked at polling places for 52 years, witnessing John F. Kennedy's defeat of Richard Nixon.
"Election after election, Rita and Helen have been an indispensable part of Santa Clara County elections, and I can't thank them enough for their dedication," said Secretary Bowen, California's chief elections official.
Each statewide election requires a one-day army of 100,000 poll workers in nearly 22,000 polling places across California. It's their job to secure ballots, educate voters, ensure accessibility for voters with disabilities, and more. A poll worker is paid an average of $100 for the day's work, though rates vary among counties.
Interested people may call county elections offices to sign up or visit ww.sos.ca.gov/elections/pollworker.htm for more information.
Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 650-492-4098.