Jacksonville poll worker continues tradition in honor of her late father

Rebecca Coffman started working at her Duval County precinct 10 years ago to spend time with her father

Poll Worker Works With Father At Same Precinct for Six Years
Poll Worker Works With Father At Same Precinct for Six Years

October makes 10 years as a poll worker for Rebecca Coffman. She decided to take on the role to spend more quality time with her father, Gerald. They worked together at the same precinct for six years.

“When I went to my first class, they picked people and asked, ‘Why do you want to be a poll worker?’ And so when they picked me, I said, ‘Well, I’m going to spend more time with my father,’” Coffman said.

Coffman grew up in Jacksonville. She moved to New Jersey when she was 22 and moved back to the River City at age 40, realizing she never spent any quality time with her father as an adult.

“The first poll we worked together, at the end of the day, he came up to me and hugged me and kissed me on the forehead and told me how proud of me he was and my heart just reached out,” Coffman said. “I never felt so happy, and I felt like that was the first time he was proud of me.”

Coffman’s father, Gerald, was a poll worker for more than 20 years. He passed away three years ago.

“We were able to work in the same precinct (for six years), and he’s not here with me anymore, but I’m still with that same precinct,” said Coffman.

She is now an assistant manager at the Cuba Hunter Community Center Precinct off Emerson Street.

“Every poll is special to me now because I’m very emotional and I remember my father doing that,” she said.

She’s now working on a special project with the military ballots that came in. Because they are faxed in, Coffman has to transfer them to actual ballots.

Coffman said while she’s been a poll worker for 10 years, this is the biggest turnout she’s seen and it’s been encouraging to see.

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