SPRINGFIELD, Va. - One of the most inspiring stories being told this election season has nothing to do with someone who is looking for your vote. Rather, she is looking to help you vote.
Ruth Hartman is about to spend her 70th election working at the polls in Fairfax County.
“It doesn’t seem that way to me,” she laughed.
Hartman worked her very first election back in 1968 at Ravensworth Elementary School in Springfield. In fact, she has worked all 69 of her previous elections there – the same place her kids went to school.
Although at first, she didn’t want the job. Hartman said her neighbor asked her to help out at the polls, and she only said yes because she was a little lonely after moving to town from Massachusetts.
“I had never moved in my life until I moved here, and I tell ya, I was one sorry person,” she recalled. “I used to call home and cry all the time. I would call my mother on the phone and cry.”
But sometimes, she said, things happen for a reason. Hartman became an award-winning volunteer – working elections, at her local civic association and at Fairfax Hospital too. And while Hartman has dedicated her life to helping others, she said she still feels like she’s the one whose benefited the most.
“Keep busy and be with people,” she smiled. “That’s the key right there.”
She added, “What do you have if you don’t have people, you know? You could be a hermit. What fun would that be?”
Hartman said she has no plans to stop working elections anytime soon. Although these days, she only works the ones in November.