Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough made a special thank you holiday presentation recently to one of Cook County’s longest serving election judges. who also happens to work as a crossing guard at a southwest suburban junior high school.
Clerk Yarbrough visited Mary Ann Anifer at her crossing guard post December 16 to present her with a certificate of service and special gifts for her 59 years of service as a Cook County Election Judge.
Anifer has also been a crossing guard at Conrady Junior High School in Hickory Hills for 10 years.
Yarbrough, who administers elections in suburban Cook County, met Anifer last November during early voting at an Orland Park precinct. When she learned she had been working as an election judge for 59 years, she wanted to celebrate Anifer’s service.
“I think it is important to send a message out there that there are incredible people like Mary Ann who give so much of themselves in the service of others,” said Yarbrough. “It has been a very challenging year, but I have seen the human spirit just burst out because people like Mary Ann show up to serve the public.”
Anifer, who served as a judge in her first election in Chicago in 1961, said she keeps returning every election to help others.
“I feel like I am helping people,” Anifer said. “This is the greatest country to live in and they give you so much opportunity. If I’m not there, maybe someone else won’t be there either. I can’t do that to the people because to me, it’s a privilege to vote. I want to make sure that every person who wants to vote has that opportunity.”