Meeting at the Polls Leads to Lasting Love
by KRISTEN ARMSTRONG, Staff Writer
|You may know people who have
found love on match-making Web sites, or at their local hang-out. But at
the voting polls on Election Day?
Arlington residents and election officers Andrew Easton and Elizabeth Davnie have proven that love shows up in unexpected places.
Working a long day at the polls at McKinley Elementary School during the November 2005 elections, Easton and Davnie had a lot of time to get to know each other.
“It's a really long day,” Davnie said. “I think we spent six hours of the day just talking, and we realized we had a lot of interests and friends in common.”
And the romance blossomed from there, although some of their friends were a little skeptical about the circumstances of their meeting. Some wondered if young people actually worked at the polls.
“When I got home, I told one of my friends I'd met a nice woman [working at the polls], and they asked me of she was in a wheelchair or needed a walker,” Easton said.
Easton, who works in government relations for a trade organization, and Davnie, a junior analyst for the Homeland Security Institute, said they are one of the only couples they know of that didn't meet online. When asked what site they used, they like to throw people off by saying, “McKinley.”
The couple have continued to work at the McKinley polls (Easton is precinct chief and Davnie is assistant precinct chief), and have also gone through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program together, and they are both involved in Red Cross disaster efforts.
“[Meeting at the polls] is a good way to meet civically minded people,” Easton said.
Easton recently proposed to Davnie with the help of one of their four cats (he put the engagement ring on their kitten's collar for Davnie to find).
The staff at the Arlington Electoral Board and Office of Voter Registration are very excited for the couple.
“Election officers are the backbone of democracy, and working at the polls can change your life . . . this is the first we have had a lifelong commitment form while working at the polls. We are thrilled!” deputy registrar Donna Patterson said. “I would say Liz and Andrew made the most of their time. I would like to encourage others to work at the polls, and see how their life changes.”
The couple will be married in September, and they plan on handing out “I Voted in Arlington” stickers, voter registration cards and sample ballots at their reception.
“We definitely wanted to include our meeting and interests in our wedding,” Davnie said.
Easton and Davnie are actively recruiting more people, especially in their age group (early 30s), to work at the polls. Even though they stress the civic aspect of being an election officer, they also use their love story as a way to promote the social perks of the job.
“Everybody should find some way to be connected,” Davnie said. “You never know what benefits you'll get.”
Elizabeth Davnie and Andrew Easton met while working as election officers at the polls in 2005.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)