Yesterday was my fifth (I think) time working the polls. A Pole at the Polls, I like to call it.
Turnout in our precinct was very good, just about 50% of all registered voters. This year, we still used primarily paper ballots (the kind that go into the paper-shredder looking thing) but had one Diebold touch screen machine as well.
A summary of the day, in bulleted form:
- Only one guy looked like he might get hostile. When I told him I might need for him to fill out a short (two line) piece of paperwork before casting his ballot, he got very angry and said, “Listen, I’ve had enough of this. The last place I went to told me I was in the wrong precinct and now this? I’m 30 minutes late opening my business because of this.” No, sir, you’re 30 minutes late because you’re a dumb ass that didn’t check his polling place before coming and making sure that your information was up-to-date with the board of elections. You slowed yourself down.
- One gentleman was wearing a McLenin’s t-shirt that featured Lenin’s head over a McDonald’s logo. The back read “The party’s over.” He told us he bought it in Moscow a couple of years ago. Apparently, the distribution trucks that were bringing the food had to be protected by armed guards because it was the only stable flow of food coming into Moscow.
- When we handed ballots out, we asked whether voters would like a paper ballot or if they preferred to use the touch-screen. Most looked baffled, many changed their mind when they saw they’d have to wait for the touch-screen, and a few even made the choice without their heads exploding. A lot of people commented, “I’m in computer security. I’ll vote the paper ballot.” There’s a lot of awareness out there about the issues with the machines. The best comment came, though, from one gentleman who said, “I’ll take a paper ballot because I want my vote to count.” He paused and added, “My company’s going to be busy after this election.” I asked him where he worked thinking perhaps he was also in the security field. He responded, “Diebold.”
- I got up at 4am and didn’t get home until 9:30pm. Nothing like a nice 16 1/2 hour day after 3 1/2 hours of sleep to make one feel alive!
- This happened right in front of our house. I had picked up the car for my co-worker, who’s in Nevada, and had it parked on the street. Ben’s handling it with grace, thankfully, and not calling me out on his blog.