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On the Move

Poll position: Pembroke woman fills her senior years by helping voters cast their ballots

In a few days, millions of Americans will go to the polls to elect a president. A huge help to the voters will be the hundreds of dedicated workers at the polls, facilitating the process. Marie Brezosky of Pembroke is one of those workers.

Brezosky has been a ballot clerk in Pembroke for 12 years.

“Our job is not difficult, but it is exacting. It’s 12 hours of intense concentration on Election Day. We are required to be at the polling place at 6:30 a.m., and we work until the polls close at 7 p.m. We are often there until 8:30 or even later. The ballots for running candidates are counted by machine, but there are always write-in votes. These have to be counted by hand after the polls close. A team of two people counts the write-ins, each confirming each vote with each other,” she said.

Ballot clerks are sworn in every year and take an oath to do the job to the best of their ability. In Pembroke, there are always two ballot clerks for each election day, except in a national election year, when there is a greater voter turnout and there are three clerks. The checklists of eligible voters are divided into two books, or three, with a clerk for each list, expediting the movement of voters, so no one has to stand in line for long.

This year, for the first time, we will have to show a photo ID, to verify that we are entitled to vote.

The state has issued a paper for the clerks that spells out what kind of IDs are acceptable.

On Tuesday, Brezosky looks forward to meeting new voters who have just turned 18 or just become citizens of our country and are voting for the first time, and to greeting lifelong residents who have voted for years.

“It’s fun to see voters enjoy this time to visit with their friends and neighbors,” Brezosky said. “I’ve heard it said that going to the dump on Saturday is a good place to meet and visit. So is the polling place on election day.”

Although helping at the polls is a major interest for Brezosky, she fills her senior days with many other useful activities. She has volunteered for the Red Cross for 20 years, coordinating volunteers for blood drives in the Concord area. She is also a Pembroke Library volunteer, secretary to the Pembroke Historical Society and secretary to the Concord Area Senior Wellness Team, an outreach of Concord Hospital Volunteer Services that presents programs targeted to seniors regarding their mental,physical, spiritual and social wellness twice monthly.

Brezosky grew up in

Before retirement, she served in a variety of office positions, the most recent being as registrar of Pembroke Academy.

She was married to the late Peter Brezosky, a biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game. She has two sons and two grandsons and lives in Pembroke.

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