Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

She's from Old School When It Comes to Polls; in Her 51st Year as a Jacksonville Poll Worker, She Has No Plans to Give Up the Job

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

She's from Old School When It Comes to Polls; in Her 51st Year as a Jacksonville Poll Worker, She Has No Plans to Give Up the Job

Article excerpt

Byline: ZACH FRIDELL, The Times-Union

Lenora Clark has spent half a century working at the polls. So Tuesday it'll be no surprise where she'll be for Duval County's special election.

And she doesn't show any signs of giving up the job.

"Is there anything in the Bible about retirement?" said Clark, in her 51st year as a Jacksonville poll worker. "If he sits you down it's one thing, but it's insulting God if you don't work."

Since Clark began working at the polls in 1954, she has seen nine presidents and nine Jacksonville mayors elected, worked under six supervisors of elections, seen Hurricanes Dora in 1964 to Charley in 2004 and saw Duval County voters choose to consolidate in 1967.

Her first polling location was on land her in-laws owned in what grew to be the Lakewood area.

"My mother-in-law, who lived there on Pickett, her neighbor was a clerk, and she asked me if I would like to work," Clark said. "I jumped at the chance to make a little extra."

Clark has since become a supervisor and a clerk of polling district 08E, which meets at Lake Forest Church of Christ on the Northside.

She has lived her whole life in Jacksonville and also has worked as a waitress in Jacksonville Beach and for 24 years at Prudential Insurance. During that time she has raised five children, has 14 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. On top of that, she still works odd jobs in between her polling dates.

She's reluctant to tell her age, which she insists is no one's business, but she will say she had a birthday March 22 and she began working the polls at age 36.

When it comes to the polls, though, Clark doesn't joke around.

"I'm from the old school, and I'm a strong believer in following the rules," she said. "My workers know I'm strict."

Clark begins work for Tuesday elections on the previous Thursday, when she goes to the voting equipment office and picks up ballots, clips, a computer and the tops of the voting machines. …

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