Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tales from the Poll

Well, in case you didn’t know, this past Tuesday (June 3) was primary day in the State of Alabama. I worked the polls once again and once again had some interesting experiences. Y’all, I’ll start off by saying my patience with the older folks I work with is running thin. In that it was all I could do at times to not lose it on these people. Look, to me anyway, working the polls is not that difficult. I, however, work with people who care more about socializing with every Jim Bob that walks through the door than they do about paying attention to the details of their job and as a result ridiculous mistakes are made and it makes me crazy.

The first mistake of the day was when a voter came in, was marked off the list and just ran over to the sign in sheet to sign her name. She signed the Republican sheet like she knew what she was doing and then when she was handed a ballot and went to vote, she realized she had a Republican ballot and said she wanted a Democratic one. So, we had to mark her name off the Republican list and move it over to the Democrat list and she voted as she wanted. Later on in the day we received word that someone had complained to the Secretary of State’s office and if I had to guess, it was this lady.

Later on in the day, when a worker came to the bottom of a sign-in page, instead of turning the page of the book, she flipped the book and the next two people signed in where witnesses sign. One of the two voters was still in the building so we were able to get that lady to re-sign.

A few hours after that, I walked in from having stepped out to the restroom, and a ballot was just sitting atop the machine because the machine had spit it out and the voter of that ballot was nowhere to be found. Long story short, the voter didn’t mark the ballot correctly and there was no one manning the machine because the man who had been there all day took a bathroom break and our inspector (who was told to watch the machine) was in another world.

It was just a few minutes after this that our numbers didn’t balance. Y’all, it was a frustrating day. We weren’t even that busy but all these mistakes made me want to pull my hair out. I’m hoping to become inspector of my poll one day and when that happens, I will be bringing in some younger people who can think clearly and perform their duties well and with a sound mind. Some of the workers are really not bad, but there were three working on Tuesday that I would never have back if I’m being honest.

What’s crazy about all these mistakes that were made is that the turnout wasn’t even that great. We only voted 316 people during the 12 hours the polls were open. People never cease to amaze me. I had people refuse to vote because they didn’t want to choose between Republican and Democrat. I had people come in that appeared drunk or high. Thankfully, no one was belligerent, which I had totally expected since this was the first time a photo ID was required. In the past you could use your voter registration card which does not have a photo. We also had a new voting machine this go around and very few people noticed it.

Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or so they say. I will say it’s still good to watch the American system at work and when I read the pledge aloud that morning, I got goose bumps and almost started crying. I’m proud to be an American, y’all. However, I do know one thing, despite all the stress I’ve been under at work lately, I was very happy to return to my normal routine.


Kimberly Washer said...

That sounds crazy and frustrating! 12 hours?! Do you stay there the whole time? That's soooo long!!

Erika said...

I always expect older people to be more responsible than a lot of the young punks I see....I'm surprised that many of them were so careless. I can assure Mama Harless would have things running!
I think it's great that you volunteer to work the polls; I am a little surprised too that no one fussed about the new photo ID rule.