Henderson honored for 50 years as election judge

“I have loved every minute of it”
Mikaela Koski
Thursday, April 4, 2019

SCN photo by Mikaela Koski

     Secretary of State Corey Stapleton and Columbus resident Barbara Henderson.

SCN photo by Mikaela Koski

   Columbus resident and Stillwater County Clerk & Recorder Heidi Stadel.

If you have voted in Stillwater County at some point during the last 50 years, chances are good that Barbara Henderson helped you, either in person or behind the scenes.

Henderson received recognition last week from Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton for the decades she has helped Stillwater County residents fulfill their civic duty. The ceremony, held at the courthouse in Columbus, was attended by election judges, county officials, and citizens.

Stillwater County Election Administrator Heidi Stadel described Henderson as “a wonderful benefit to the entire county,” and Stapleton called her “a Montana hero.”

By serving as an election judge for 50 years, Henderson “further(ed) the cause of freedom and democracy in Montana and America and protect(ed) the electoral process that allows Montana voters to freely choose their leaders and set public policy,” the certificate presented to Henderson reads.

During her five decades as an election judge, Henderson has worked through 12 presidential elections, not to mention the numerous mid-term federal elections, state elections, and local elections in which she has taken part.

Throughout the years, Henderson has served under six different county election administrators.

She explained to the crowd that her mother was involved with elections, and when Henderson first started working as an election judge, she simply counted votes. Over the years, Henderson rose to be a leader among the county’s election judges.

“Addictive” is how she described working elections, adding the work is a challenge, but also fun.

“I loved every minute of it,” Henderson said of her time as an election judge.

For Henderson, 50 years might not be enough – she is still an active election judge and hasn’t ruled out working a shift or two in future elections.