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November 3rd, 2010

Observations from this year’s election

Once again, this year I worked as an election official. I thought I’d share a few observations.

The loudest people are usually the least informed and/or the scariest. Case in point: the guy who insisted on talking to me about politics (not allowed). He declared that “We all need to start acting like Americans.” I didn’t press to find out what the hell he meant by that, because I figured I knew. I was proven right later when someone else mentioned that he said that all federal employees should carry guns to the white house. He also scrawled all over the bottom of his ballot, “THANK YOU FOR USING PAPER BALLOTS SO MY VOTE COUNTS!” (We figure it was him because he went on at length about using a paper ballot.)

Kids love stickers, and I love giving kids stickers. Though a few borderline-aged kids seemed offended when I offered them a sticker, most kids really appreciated getting an “I VOTED” sticker as they left the polling place.

About 3/4 of the time, the people that vote opposite from the way I do are not people I’d like to associate with outside of the polls. I realize this is a pretty sweeping statement that may offend some friends, but rest assured, if you’re a friend, you’re part of the 1/4. And though I obviously don’t know who people vote for, if they’re carrying a sample ballot of only the Republican candidate, I’m going to make the assumption that’s how they’re voting. Among those 3/4 are grumps, holier-than-thous, and scary Tea Partiers (see above). Sure, I’m making this judgment on a 5-second interaction, but hey, isn’t that what political ramblings on an Internetting Webb Paige usually devolve to anyway? I’m just getting to the point.

Pollworkers have a high tolerance for boredom. Though yesterday’s election drew about 1000 people in my precinct, loyal pollworkers that sit there even for primaries where all the candidates are uncontested deserve some serious praise. In this precinct’s June election, they saw 89 people all day long. That’s an average of less than seven people an hour.

Working the polls requires a recovery day. And as a result, I always take the day after working the polls off. So glad I did today.

Posted in Politics

COD November 4, 2010, 12:56 am

People that need the sample ballots should not be allowed to vote.

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