Iowa’s longest-serving precinct election official has been honored for more than a half century of service. Mildred Davis was presented with the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award on Monday by Iowa Sec. of State Paul Pate for serving as a prescient election official for the past 56 years.
The 93-year-old from Sioux City says she’s worked national, state and local elections rarely missing an opportunity to serve.
"The importance of voting to me is that you get done what you what done. Or at least you have tried to get it done," says Davis. "If you don’t vote, don’t complain."
Davis says she'll eventually hang the medallion on a wall in her home, where she has other keepsakes and political memorabilia.
In addition to Davis, Sec. Pate says there are five other Iowans who have volunteered as poll workers since the 1960s, and another eight since the 1970s.
"That’s pretty significant," says Pate. "These are people who have been dedicated in coming out, and working these elections. They stay there from about 6:00 in the morning, until 10:00 at night, it’s a long day."
There are more than 1,700 precincts in Iowa, and practically all require multiple workers for each election.