Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reflections on Election Day

I've had a little rest and relaxation since last week and am back to blogging.  Before I move off Election Day, though, I'd like to share some random thoughts from working the polls last Tuesday.

Turnout was great !  We got over 50% and the precinct we shared the site with got over 60%.

Although voters were focused, there wasn't the same level of anger evident four years ago.

The yellow postcards telling folks where their polling site was located were a hit.  Many people brought them along, and in one particular case it helped resolve a voter registration issue so that person could vote a regular ballot.

People rely on the BMV to change voter registration at the same time as they change the address on their driver's license.  The BMV is not to be trusted with this, as they time and time again drop the ball on the voter registration.  Last Tuesday we had at least a dozen people who thought all was well after dealing with the BMV.  Not so.  If you ever try to change your voter registration through the BMV - make sure you get a receipt from them showing that effort.  Keep the receipt.  No matter how you try to change your voter registration take heed of the following:  If you do not get a card in the mail within two months from Voter Registration, stating your name, your address, and your voter number, CALL Voter Registration and inquire.  Their number is 327-5040.  It is best not to wait until Election Day to try to resolve these issues, as you very well might be denied the right to vote because you are not properly registered.

I prefer days when we have a constant stream of voters to days when few show up to the polls.

I dislike the way the County Parties use the process to gather their information on Election Day.  The Rs sat someone at the 'challenge table' (we had no challengers) who kept their voter call list updated as well as inquiring as to phone numbers.  This held up the line at times.  The Ds, too cheap to pay someone to sit at the challenge table, got the law changed so that the Clerk may keep tabs on who has voted.  The Clerk is a busy person on Election Day, checking voters in, checking IDs, initialling ballots, and referring issues to the Judges and/or Inspector.  Especially on busy voting days, this is more than enough to keep track of and screening another list for a voter's name ties up the line.

I prefer the voting machine that you feed the paper ballot into, as it leaves the paper trail.   The touch screen voting machine leaves no way to double check the voter's intention.

We have a great crew in DE-11 and DE-16.  Many of us have worked together for nearly a decade.

The day is usually a social one - those days when you get few problems to resolve, anyway.  You see folks you know and get to catch up a bit on what's been happening.  Its nice.

Beth White has done an outstanding job with elections.  Every year it seems to get just a bit smoother and just a bit less complicated.  The biggest disappointment among most voters this year, was that we ran out of 'I voted, I count' stickers.  I have to say I'm surprised at how really popular those stickers are.

About 10% of our voters chose early voting - with slightly more doing it in person at City Hall than through an absentee ballot sent through the mail.

Its nice to see young people serving at the polls.  Those of us who have served a while need replacements.  If that might be you, let your County Party or the Election Board know of your willingness to give it a try.  You just might like it. 

Election Day is a long day, yet a satisfying one.  We do something important - make sure voters participate in a fair election, with the least amount of delay to the voters as we can manage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The GOP controlled legislature changed the election law to allow the clerks take care of the party call list. It is a good idea though. The Dems dont have the thouasands of city and state workers that can be "volunteered" into doing that work. Lots of voters were asking for the I VOTE, I COUNT STICKERS. They are a status symbol and the numbers need to be doubled. It is so trivial but it seems to encourage enthusiasm. Why not put more in each precinct.