Langdon election worker presented the first North Dakota "Election Hero' award
An election worker from Langdon has been awarded the 2023 North Dakota Election Hero Award.
Kari Phillips is the inaugural winner of the award. She’s been working elections for 20 years, as a clerk and an inspector.
Secretary of State Michael Howe presented the award to Kari Phillips. Howe says the award was created in honor of “National Election Hero Day,” Nov. 6th.
"The whole goal of 'National Election Hero Day' and the state Election Hero Award is to make people aware of the behind the scenes work that it takes to conduct a safe and secure election," Howe said. "It's people like Kari, who show up for primary elections and general elections — without them, it's not possible at all."
Phillips said she started working elections as a clerk.
"I did it for one election, and I liked it," Phillips said. "So I offered — that if they ever needed anyone again, let me know. I didn't realize that would go on and on for 20 years."
Phillips said she’s now the elections inspector for Cavalier County. She said the process has changed a lot since she started.
"We had paper books," Phillips said. "We had somebody reading the votes out loud. We actually had to tie the ballots in bundles, and melt wax to put a seal on them, and then put them away for safe keeping."
Phillips said working at the polls is a good community service, and a good way to get to know people in the community.
"Every year, when there's an election, I see the same faces," Phillips said. "It's a social thing. But it's also good to know there's so many people interested and involved in our election process, that come out and vote. They feel like their vote counts, and they want to make a difference."