2016-11-09 / LifeStyles

She’s not out of the Woods yet

By SCOTT POWELL
Ledger Staff Writer


Mell Wood, 89, was one of the poll workers Tuesday at Wood’s precinct at Grassy Pond Baptist Church fellowship hall. She has been working at the poll for the past six decades. 
(Ledger photo / SCOTT POWELL) Mell Wood, 89, was one of the poll workers Tuesday at Wood’s precinct at Grassy Pond Baptist Church fellowship hall. She has been working at the poll for the past six decades. (Ledger photo / SCOTT POWELL) Call her the old kid on the block.

Mell Wood, 89, has been a poll worker for 60 years. She has worked behind the scenes on Election Day ever since high school.

Her role as a volunteer began in childhood when her home in the Grassy Pond community transformed every two years into a voting precinct for area residents. The house was located at the corner of Twin Bridge and Robbs School roads.

“They voted at my home for years,” Wood recalled. “In the summertime, people would vote in our yard under the shady trees. They used to vote in the fall on our front porch.”

Voting was organized into Woods precinct and moved across the street to the old Floyd McCraw store. Grassy Pond Water Company served as a poll location for a time.

Local residents cast their ballots in the Wood precinct Tuesday in the Grassy Pond Baptist Church fellowship hall.

“When I first started, they had 70 registered voters. Now they have 900,” Wood said. “I used to help my mother during the elections. Schools used to open on Election Day so there were times when I didn’t work in the general election in November because I was in school.”

Technology advancements have greatly changed the way elections are done in Cherokee County.

Gone are the paper ballots and punch cards which once made for late nights for poll workers charged with closing down voting stations.

South Carolina installed its current touchscreen voting machines following the 2000 presidential election.

Wood has been on the job so long she has outlived some of her co-workers.

“I’m the old kid on the block,” Wood laughs. “My daughter is 61-years-old. I’ve worked as a poll worker ever since she can remember. Every time there’s an election I tell my daughter this will be my last one. I just love seeing people.”

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