Getting Associated With the Election


Sophomore Mass Communications major Emma Marti worked as a Stringer for the Associated Press on Election Night 2020. PHOTO // Savanna Kennedy.

Brett Loftis, Sports Editor

Two Piedmont College students, sophomore Emma Marti and senior Abby Cox, were able to do something that young journalists dream of in college.  They were able to get a job opportunity that many only dream of.  Marti and Cox were able to work for the Associated Press during the 2020 Local, State and National Elections. 


Sophomore mass communications major Emma Marti covered the Presidential election, the Senate election and the special Senate election.  She had to report the results from the Ruby Fulbright Aquatic Center polling location in Habersham, Georgia.  Marti’s behind the scenes view of how the numbers were reported on election night really opened her eyes. 


“My view changed a lot.  Before getting the position, I never really knew how the numbers ended up being reported, thus leading states to be called just because I never had to think about it,” said Marti.  “This is the first Presidential Election that I had the chance to vote in, so I never had to think about it. I have more respect for poll workers than I did before. That job is so stressful, not just on election night.”


Senior mass communications major Abby Cox had the pleasure of covering all of the national elections.  She had to report voting results from the Habersham County Administration Building polling location.  Cox found out that working during the election intels of always staying focused.  

Senior mass communications and sports communications major, Abby Cox, worked as a Stringer for the Associated Press on the 2020 Election Night. PHOTO // Abby Cox

I would be willing to do it again, for sure. But, it is a job that you have to be aware of your surroundings. You can’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarifications for the numbers that you are receiving,” said Cox. “The country is counting on you to relay the ballot numbers for counting and that is high pressure on a single individual. I was constantly checking, double checking, and triple checking that the numbers I was relaying on the phone to the operator, were the same numbers on my tally sheet.”


Cox also found a lot of the aspects of election night very intriguing as well.  However, the major aspect that she found the most interesting was the final event of the night.  


“What interested me the most was the police escort that was given to the election ballots. I have never seen something like that before. I was amazed and still can’t believe I was there to see it happen,” said Cox.  “You never realize you’re going to be a part of something so impactful until you’re physically sitting there watching it unfold in front of your eyes.”


Working for such a big media corporation as the Associated Press can really show a young journalist how much work and preparation goes into such an important event.  Emma Marti found this out first hand and what she could really prepare for in her future career. 


I never really had to think about how the numbers and results got reported. It was so cool being on the inside and being a big part in reporting,” said Marti.  “I found it really interesting to see just how many people get the chance to work with AP and work on election night in general.”