Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Polling Place Reflections

Working in the polling place is an eye-opening experience. It is a long day, with little pay, but that is not why people do it. We, as I speak for the group at my polling place, did it because we believe in the process and participation in democracy. There are those in line that are rude, talking down to you as if you are an idiot. But there are also those that thanked us for volunteering,and one who brings treats each election in appreciation.
We had some really long lines, lots of provisional ballots and many first-time voters. These were mostly college-age kids, many coming home just to vote. We thanked them for registering and voting, giving them a brief orientation on ballot completion. They were mostly excited and nervous,not knowing what to do and often came with a parent. When people thanked us for volunteering, we thanked them for voting. Kids came with parents to learn the process and get stickers.
We ate our breakfast at noon, our lunch at 6 pm. We were all sore and stiff from sitting and writing. Our throats were sore from giving the same instructions from pre-dawn dark to evening dark. The stars were bright when we arrived at 5:20 am. We all agreed to see each other again at the next election. So a giant jerk won the presidency this time. There must be hope for the future.