Managing an election is no joke

Eat well.

Rest well.

You’re going to need all your strength.

That’s what the “team of horses” was told by coach, err, city election chief Catherine Bergeron in the days leading up to the election.

“In 2010, I lost my voice,” for three weeks due to stress, said Bergeron.

It’s an experience she’s learned from.

“You just, mentally, have to be able to deal with the situation, make your decision, and move on.”

Bergeron’s squad of 20 was dealing with last minute preparations Sunday.

Staffing is always top of mind.

“First thing we do when we get into the office is check the messages on the phone from people who are not able to work for us,” said Bergeron.

They’ll call as late as midnight, “very surprised that we were not there to answer the phone for them to tell us that they’ve now quit.”

Four years ago, 10 people bailed on election day “and they had boxes of ballots, and they had voting machines … so we have to get the equipment from their house,” Bergeron said, then wake people on the standby list.

Deputy returning officers have a brown box with the voters’ list, ballots, and additional forms, while senior deputy returning officers are responsible for the voting machine.

Bergeron raves about husband, Guy, who also works for the city, and is experienced with the election grind.

“He’s my rock,” she said.

He’ll drive her into work at 6:30 a.m. Monday.

At 5:30 p.m. staff will move downtown.

“All of the results come into City Hall in a server room we have there,” she said.

When it’s over, her plans?

“A nice glass of wine, relax.”

Twitter: @kellyroche6

http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/10/26/managing-an-election-is-no-joke

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