By the book: A crew of workers from Works and Engineering prepare the polling station at Prospect Primary School in anticipation for Monday’s General Election. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
By the book: A crew of workers from Works and Engineering prepare the polling station at Prospect Primary School in anticipation for Monday’s General Election. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, DEC. 14: Most voters will tucked up in their beds on the night before the polling stations open for Monday’s General Election.

But while they rest a 36-strong team of workers will be busy transforming churches and schools into election centres.

Their work began just over a week ago with the construction of wooden ramps for wheelchair-bound voters, the installation of new lighting systems and the painting of the seven and 50-metre lines.

But many of the polling stations fulfill other functions during the day and are used right up to the night before the election.

So Sunday night is sure to be a busy one for the crews from Works and Engineering, who will also have to dismantle some polling stations later the same day so they are ready for school pupils on Tuesday morning.

Rudolph Ebbin, Depot Supervisor for Works and Engineering, told the Sun: “The layout of every one of the 36 polling stations has been specifically detailed well in advance.

“And it is our job to make sure these plans are followed to the letter. It is a busy time for us but everyone always goes above and beyond what they are expected to do.

“We install hundreds of lights, 140 extension dividers and we build more than 20 wooden ramps for polling stations that do not have access for people with physical challenges.

“There is a lot of planning involved but we have learned a great deal from previous elections and that obviously helps in our preparation.”

The W&E crews have already completed much of the work that needs to be done at the 36 polling stations.

And at least one worker will be on hand at each polling station during the election to assist in any way they can.

Mr Ebbin said: “It is a very tense time for all of us.

“Not only are we setting up each polling station, but our work will be scrutinized by lawyers, politicians and of course the voter.

“If it is not done correctly, there will be congestion in the polling stations and problems and we will get the criticism.

“But if they see it has been done right, and feel it is a well organized operation, then we get the compliments.

“It is our job to make sure it all runs smoothly for the Returning Officers and the way each polling station is set up obviously affects that.”

He added: “I love election time and I think the guys enjoy it too.

“I have already had positive feedback from the advanced polls. They always go above their job description whether it is something like lending a hand taking out the trash.”