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November 6, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

California's Longest-Serving
Poll Worker Honored in San Francisco

SACRAMENTO - Elisa Kennedy, who has hosted a polling place in her San Francisco home and/or has worked as a poll worker in nearly every election for the last 75 years, was honored today as California's longest-serving poll worker by Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Elisa's service as a poll worker began shortly after she reached eligible voting age and has spanned more than 120 elections.

"A lot has changed in politics and in the world since Elisa first volunteered as a poll worker 75 years ago, but her commitment to democracy and her devotion to her community has remained constant," said Secretary Bowen, California's chief elections official. "The people of San Francisco have been fortunate to have Elisa help elections run smoothly and I am so grateful to her and thousands of others who volunteer to serve as poll workers year after year."

Secretary Bowen presented Elisa with a medal from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). The NASS Medallion Award recognizes individuals or groups with a record of outstanding service and dedication to elections, civic education, or service to state government.

"It's been in my blood," said Elisa who was born in 1916 in Dunsmuir, and moved to San Francisco in 1933. "I find it very rewarding, in that I've met so many people through the years and it's been a great satisfaction to me. It's the wonderful people."

Each statewide election requires a one-day workforce of 100,000 poll workers in more than 24,000 polling places across California. Poll workers help to secure ballots, educate voters about their rights, 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.

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