Elections wouldn't run smoothly without the workers who give up their whole day to make that possible, and one couple in Johnson City does just that year after year.
Carol and Paul Burks have worked at Lake Ridge Elementary School every election for the past six years. Paul works as a voting machine operator. He sets up before voters arrive, guides voters to their booth and then packs up the machines at the end of the day. Carol's a fail safe judge. That means if any voters have an address or name change, or are in the wrong precinct, she's there to help.
The retired couple feels this was something they needed to do.
"I feel like you have a civic responsibility to do something," says Paul. "It's a civil duty and you have a good feeling when you leave at night," adds Carol. The good feeling comes from seeing familiar faces.
"We get to see everybody… Politicians, to our pastor, to our next door neighbor, we just enjoy being here," says Paul. And they respect those who exercise their right to choose who they want to lead.
"Voting is such a privilege in this country. I just cannot imagine somebody that doesn't vote," adds Paul.
The Burks tell News 5 although it's a long day, it's definitely worth it. And a nice plus that they're close to home.
"Not to mention our grandchildren go to school here," says Carol.
"That's correct! So we get to see our grandchildren during the day," exclaims Paul.
The Burks say working elections is something they plan to do for years to come. The Lake Ridge precinct closes at 8 p.m. Thursday.