Students work election as stringers

Grace Hoffman, Reporter

Many Americans spent Nov. 3 refreshing their phones and continuously searching for election results, but two BHS students were on the other side of the process. Junior Gavin Batley and sophomore Anna McCarthy spent election night working for the Associated Press as stringers.

“My job as a stringer was once the election officials gathered the results I would call them into the Associated Press who would then publish the results,” McCarthy said.

According to the Associated Press website, stringers collect votes at the local level from county clerks throughout the night and call in results to a vote entry clerk in a Vote Entry Center.

Although the process of applying and training for the stringer position was fairly easy, the night was not quite as effortless.

“We came in later in the day and I stayed until around midnight. We were observers so we watched people vote and about every 30 minutes we asked the vote counters what the results were by county, and if they had a final count,” Batley said.

McCarthy explained that the process of constantly asking for updates from the election officials was bothersome.

“I had to check in with the officials for a final count around every 45 minutes and most of the time it was no,” McCarthy said.

The experience of being a stringer is not one that many high school students can claim to have. Understanding and having partaken in this leaves these students with a new appreciation of the voting process. 

“It was really interesting to see the results for just Berlin, and also to see how local election officials do their jobs,” McCarthy said. “It taught me a lot about how elections work because we watched each ballot be counted and saw all the different jobs.”

Although there was a lot of down time and it was a long night, the experience is something that impacted the stringers.

“The highlights from the experience were getting to further understand how the process works, getting paid and just being able to work for the Associated Press because they are a big news outlet,” Batley said.