Today's Edition Local Missouri National World Opinion Obits Sports GoMidMo Events Classifieds Newsletters Contests Special Sections Jobs
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
story.lead_photo.caption Bradley Kuykendall, pictured here on Wednesday in the Inman E. Page Library, is a reference and instruction librarian at Lincoln University and Democratic poll supervisor at The Linc. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

For Bradley Kuykendall, there is no average day at work.

He might be helping Lincoln University students with their homework. That could involve connecting them with information through articles and databases. He could be helping a professor with research for a grant. Or, he might be writing his own grant application.

As the reference and instruction librarian at LU's Inman E. Page Library, Kuykendall has a variety of duties that mostly comes down to finding and connecting people with information.

It's that desire that transfers over to another role in his life.

For the past four years, he's been a Cole County Democratic poll worker at The Linc. He started as a poll worker in the 2016 election and will be working the 2020 election as a supervisor.

"I just like the simple fact I'm part of the process," he said. "I like the simple fact of me giving back and helping others to vote. It's our civic duty, and that just makes me feel good that I'm actually out here and helping out."

Each of the city's poll sites has both Democrat and Republican poll workers as a way to ensure fairness in the process.

Like other poll workers, Kuykendall is responsible for keeping the voting process smooth — helping registered voters to vote and maintaining order.

One task is to make sure there is no electioneering at the polls. That can be people urging others to vote a certain way or, more likely, people wearing shirts, caps or other items favoring a certain candidate.

But two of the main things he deals with are directing voters who aren't in the right place to the right poll site and dealing with unregistered voters trying to vote. Many times, people don't realize they are not registered. Kuykendall has to tell them he can help them to register but they won't be eligible to vote until the next election.

He's proud his polling site is one of the biggest in Cole County, drawing around 1,000 voters in the past.

Fortunately, he said, his poll site has never experienced disorderly conduct or other major problems.

"We're in a pretty divisive time, but Jeff City has been OK for the most part," he said.

Related Article

Town hall panelists, organizer provide details about ideas, way forward

Read more

He said he's not interested in elected office: "I don't want those problems," he added.

His interest in voting started years ago as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., an African American fraternity for men. It was there he got involved in the organization's national program called "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People." The program works to get people registered and to the polls.

"Some of the things our organization does are we have voter registration drives, we partner with other organizations across the county, state, city in doing that programming, just (telling people) what it means to register to vote," he said. "And I've taken it a step further to be a poll judge worker."

When he's not working at the library or as a poll supervisor, the 30-year-old bachelor enjoys following the Dallas Cowboys ("We're not having the best of years," he said), reading graphic novels and playing video games on the Nintendo Switch.

His main focus these days, however, is on voting: "The biggest thing I want people to do is just get out there and vote," he said.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT