NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The work day is winding down for election judges at polls across the state. The over 12 hours of duty pays $10 an hour in Nacogdoches County.
However, East Texas News learned from two election workers that cash isn't why they took the job.
Nacogdoches County Election Judge R. G. Dean got to work before six in the morning on Super Tuesday. Before the polls close at 7 tonight, highlights in his day come every two hours.
"I posted the number of people who voted in the Democratic primary today," Dean said.
During the first 4-and-a-half hours there were 36 votes from precincts 22 to 25. Dean calls it a great turnout.
"I've been serving as an election judge for over 30 years," Dean said. "I've been working in elections for around 40 years."
What makes this retired math professor so dedicated to the political process?
"The fact I had to pass the courthouse in San Augustine where I grew up going to and from school," Dean said. "And on election days there were large blackboards set up and after the polls closed until midnight or so they would be posting the votes."
Dean was fascinated by the process. The tallying methods have changed, but each vote still counts in any election.
"Still, choose the one that you think will do the best for the country," Dean said.
"If we want to be a democracy, that's how it happens," said Joe Richardson, an alternate election judge.
Richardson was recruited by Dean. The retiree is new on the job and still learning from his former math professor.
"I just enjoy visiting and one of the things we can do is we sit and visit," Richardson said.
When he was asked if he and Dean ever run out of things to talk about, Richardson said, "Nahh. Never. Never."
Reporter-"Do you and R.G. ever run out of things to talk about?" Richardson-" Nahh. Never. Never."
Remarkably, politics are rarely discussed. They are just men doing their civic duty because they can and because …
"Somebody needs to do it," Dean said with a chuckle.
Election judges have about one more hour at the polls. Then they pack machines and ballot boxes up for transport to election central. That's where our news reporters will be throughout Deep East Texas to bring you the latest returns.