96-year-old poll worker still going strong in SF

November 6, 2012 11:55:55 AM PST
A huge honor is going out on this Election Day for one very experienced poll worker in San Francisco's Sunset District. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen will present an award to a 96-year-old poll worker.

The most experienced polling place worker in San Francisco is back on the job today, Elisa Kennedy has been a poll worker at every election since 1949 and there's no way she was going to miss today's vote.

How many times has Kennedy asked for a voter's signature at a polling place? No one knows. But she did it for 30 years in the Mission District out of her house on Dolores Street and for the past 30 years she's been doing it at her house on 40th Avenue near Irving. Today she's seeing a huge turnout.

"It's really busy, the busiest I've ever seen," said Kennedy.

Voters coming here may not know they are in the presence of the city's most seasoned poll worker. Elisa has been recognized by the state of California for her dedication to Election Day. She proudly displayed some of the name tags she's worn through the years starting in 1949.

"It was a job at that time. I was an inspector. I started with $13 a day," said Kennedy.

Until today, the most excited electorate she'd ever seen was in 1960, when John Kennedy energized voters.

"Bringing a new face and the appeal that they had for the name of Kennedy," joked Kennedy.

Kennedy is not only the longest serving poll workers in San Francisco but also the state.

She said she would like to work more elections in the future, but "that's up to the good lord."


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