Be our guest: The quiet pursuit of democracy: Thank you, Clerk Krautkramer
By Tori Jennings & Mary McComb
Stevens Point Alders
Just two months ago, the Stevens Point Common Council selected Karlyn Krautkramer to serve as the interim city clerk. Krautkramer had recently retired after 16 years with the Stevens Point Area Public School District as an administrative assistant and school board deputy clerk. In 2013 she contested John Moe for the clerk position. From her long-time desire to serve the community and again encouraged by colleagues and friends, Krautkramer applied for the interim appointment.
The city clerk performs a multifaceted job that includes one of the most essential aspects of a functioning democracy: making sure elections are held on time—free, fair, and accurate. Very shortly after her appointment, Krautkramer hustled to all polling places, handily troubleshooting any problems.
But no one could have predicted the challenges Clerk Krautkramer and her staff would face only weeks after she accepted the position. COVID-19 is causing unprecedented issues for local, state, and national elections.
Krautkramer and her staff will need to find poll workers to replace immune compromised workers and implement social-distancing guidelines. With public encouragement to vote absentee, Krautkramer, staff, and poll workers will process and count an onslaught of mailed-in ballots, all by day’s end April 7. And the Clerk’s office doesn’t relax then, because Clerk Krautkramer is responsible for monitoring and implementing any possible mandated changes to the November election.
This year, as voters ponder the present and future health of our democracy, the stakes could not be higher. We’re already recognizing that the unsung workers normally taken for granted—those who guard our health, who provide us food and necessities, who keep our infrastructure functioning, who teach our children—are heroes.
Add Clerk Karlyn Krautkramer, her staff, and poll workers (and their cohorts all over) to the growing list of workers vital to the survival of our democracy.