There are a lot of people behind the scenes making sure your votes counted Tuesday.

One of them is Irma Gripp. She’s been an election judge for more than 20 years.

On Tuesday, she oversaw the action at the Rock Island Township building. Gripp volunteers every election.

Irma Gripp retired from John Deere in 1999. With her retirement, she wanted to find a way to make a difference in the community.

She found her passion one day when she went out to vote.

“I went in to vote early in the middle of the day in the next election and they wanted to know ‘What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at work?’ and I said ‘I retired.’ And from then on I was an election judge.”

After her first election as a judge, she knew it was her duty to keep on serving. This year, she was in charge of the polling place inside of the Rock Island Township building.

Gripp looks forward to every election, and says being an election judge for so many years has become a very rewarding experience.

“I enjoy doing it,” she said. “I enjoy seeing people come out and there’s some people you haven’t seen for awhile and they come by and say hello and then go ahead and take their ballot and go and vote.”

Gripp encourages everyone who can to vote.

“It’s very important. That’s our citizen’s duty,” she said. “We’re citizens. We’ve earned the right to vote. You definitely should take advantage.”