Cook County Clerk David Orr honored the top election judges in suburban Cook County Thursday at the ninth annual Judge Recognition Ceremony.
One of the dedicated honorees was 52-year Election Day veteran Mary Ann Anifer of Palos Hills. “We are very fortunate to be able to vote in this country and if I can help someone else vote in the process, I’m all for it,” said the Palos Township equipment manager. “This is a very important part of life–your vote is your voice and if you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice.”
Clerk Orr, joined by CBS 2 News reporter Derrick Young who emceed the event, lauded the guests for their outstanding efforts and dedication as election judges and equipment managers.
“Everyone here is the best at what they do,” Orr said. “We know that each polling place is in excellent hands when you’re on duty.”
The honorees ranged in age from 20 to 87 and hold well over 500 years of combined election experience. The ceremony and lunch were held at the Cook County Administration Building, 69 W. Washington St.
Crestwood resident Lois Nutley, another revered judge with decades of experience, was also honored for her 45 years of service to Bremen Township.
Berwyn Township equipment manager Miriam Acevedo recalled one experience in particular that has kept her coming back for 15 years. “During my second year, an elderly woman that had just become an American citizen came into my precinct to vote for the first time in her life,” the Cicero resident said. “She was not allowed to vote in her home country and was worried that she would vote incorrectly and get in trouble. We worked through it together and the smile she had on her face was all the reward I needed.”
Suburban Cook County’s nearly 10,000 election judges are responsible for preparing their designated polling place, setting up election equipment, assisting voters and securing votes at the end of the night. All judges attend regular trainings each election cycle to learn new policies, procedures and techniques.
The Clerk’s office is always looking for individuals to serve their communities on Election Day. Anyone interested in learning how to apply to become a pollworker can visit the Clerk’s website for details.
Below is a list of the honorees listed by township.
Barrington: Janice Dahm, Jang Koo
Berwyn: Miriam Acevedo, Kathleen Isdale
Bloom: Sandra Clinton, Grace Hansum
Bremen: Lois Nutley, WC Wofford
Calumet: William Cazares, Rory Ramirez
Cicero: Raquel Fregoso, Susan Steffen
Elk Grove: Hans Lim, EF Gina Smith
Evanston: Roy Fisher, Byron Fuji
Hanover: Suzan Shipyor, Bennie Sowers
Lemont: Grace Ann Srbeny, Phillip Zaras
Leyden: Linda Bachi, Dorene Brandstatter
Lyons: Sandra Anderson, Anthony Arciero
Maine: Zbigniew Iwaniszyn, Abba Rabinovitz
New Trier: Patrick Doherty, Penny Gundry
Niles: Syed Arshad, Umer Gaffar, Lashone Kelly
Northfield: Saralynne Crittenden, David Phillips
Norwood Park: Patricia Dobrowolski, Marie Nachtwey
Oak Park: Barbara Draper, Heidi Phillips
Orland: Joan Dorn, Emerlis Koziol
Palatine: John Dorman, Fredricka Thigpen
Palos: Mary Ann Anifer, Simon Madrigal
Proviso: Laurie Hamby, Jermaine Nigel Price
Rich: Georgia Mc Adams, Betsy Rollings
River Forest: Stephanie Jackson-Rowe, William Watson
Riverside: Jo Anne Kosey, Patricia Pavlich
Schaumburg: Isabel Lopez, Pralhad Patil
Stickney: Ahmad Abdelrahim, Mark Hernandez
Thornton: Davida Barner, Adrienne Lennix, Joseph Parvis
Wheeling: Daniel Hostetler, Lenore Stevens
Worth: Mark Dynia, Martin Longo, Matthew Sanchez
Early Voting: Harison Green, Joseph Perez