Election day volunteers

By Denise Jackson

March 20, 2012 Updated Nov 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Primary elections can mean a long day for judges and volunteers depending on voter turnout.

Eileen McDonough has been an election judge for more than three decades. She said voters are still private about their party affiliation.

"A lot of people don't want to tell us what they're voting, Republican or Democrat, although we don't care. So I don't think it's changed a lot," she said.

McDonough and her crew are processing voter ballots at precincts 40, 42 and 43 inside First English Lutheran Church in Peoria. They said the turnout is typically steady on primary day.

Over at Northwoods Community Church, volunteers said traffic has kept them working steady.

"We've been pretty busy so far it has been a steady stream. I would expect it to be 20 to 25 percent," said election judge Jerry Hoven.

Even though judges are processing ballots, their work begins before way before the polls open and continues until after closing.

"To set up ahead of time, it's usually about a hour and a hour and half. We do some of it Monday and the rest in the morning at 5:15 and then at the end of the day the polls close and we're usually here until 7:45 and we have to take the ballots downtown, it's a long day," said McDonough.

Despite all the work, it's a volunteer job that comes every two to four years.

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