Friday, September 07, 2012
This morning I skipped my water classes to attend Voter Training (to work at the polls). I had hoped to be a volunteer in November during the election. I live several blocks from the Supervisor of Elections Office for my county so figured it wouldn't be a big deal to get there. Wrong! For some reason they sent me 16 miles away to another city for training. Since the road that I took to get there was under construction, you can imagine my frustration level by the time I arrived. The next thing that happened was I couldn't find a parking place. I asked about handicapped parking and was told to try a parking lot down the street. By this time I was in a bad mood and late to the meeting. (I despise being late!)
I walked toward the entrance of the building and one of the greeters smiled and said good morning and I returned his greeting. He asked how I was this morning and I replied, "Frustrated and angry!" Being this way was out of character for me so I felt even worse. He said, "Let me help you to have a better day." He proceeded to walk me to the door and open it for me. What a wonderful man! He did indeed help me to have a better day! You never know how the little things you do for others affect them. If it weren't for this man, I would have had a terrible day.
Once inside the building, I signed in at the registration desk. I was given an application packet and asked for my Social Security Card. I didn't have it with me, so I'm taking a copy of it to the Supervisor of Elections Office later today. I was also reminded to turn in my resume with my application. I asked the person at the desk why I was attending training in this city when I live near the Supervisor of Elections office. He seemed surprised that I had been directed so far away from my house too. He told me that there is training in my home town too. That training is on Monday evening. Then I remembered that they messed up at the polls when I voted in August. They listed me as a mail in ballot instead of being able to vote at the polls. I registered a complaint because I had to go through a bunch of unnecessary paperwork just to be able to vote. Perhaps this was payback? I'd hate to think that anyone could be that petty.
I sat through a presentation detailing all of the poll positions and what the responsibilities were for every position. I checked off several that were of interest on my application. Then the Elections Supervisor discussed the pay scale for every position. What??? The last time I worked at the polls was 1971 and we all volunteered. Of course I worked the polls in another state so maybe things work differently here. I can't imagine having to pay people to help with an election!!! Alas, we have arrived at a place where all time is money, I suppose. I tried to convince the staff to hire me as a volunteer but they wouldn't do it. It has to be paid or you can't work there. That's why they needed my Social Security Card.
I sat and listened patiently and kept waiting for the training to begin. After about 35 minutes, I found out that the actual training takes place on a different day and time, if the Board of Elections accepts your application. It was interesting that the letter that I received called today's meeting "training". Okay, so I cleared my schedule today for a 35 minute presentation about the jobs available at the polls.
Today was a real education for me. It is good that the poll workers are being carefully screened. Hopefully the screening process will eliminate those who want to taint the American election results. That is a very good thing. If something happens during the voting, the officials know who you are, where you live and have access to your background information. I'm glad that they are taking everything seriously because I think we need to. I do think that the communication about the training could have been more clear and efficient. Perhaps by working there myself, I can make a difference.
Please exercise your rights as a citizen of this great country and get out and vote this coming November. Wouldn't it be great if people were to turn out in record numbers? Let your voice be heard!!!