The election came and went and I never wrote about it. I guess that’s because there wasn’t much to write about. The precinct I managed has about 1000 registered voters and during one of the many lulls we estimated that about 55% of them were vote-by-mail voters. Of those remaining, about 380 actually came in to vote or drop off their ballots, so if all of those VBM voters returned their ballot we did pretty well.
On the whole, the day was pretty uneventful. We were led to believe that there would be an onslaught of voters all day, so there were seven of us staffing the polls. But, except for the line that formed when the polls opened, we outnumbered the voters almost all day. Some other highlights:
- About 15 people were waiting to vote at 7 a.m. From that point on we never had more than 5 people waiting to vote.
- It’s amazing how many people don’t look at their sample ballot. It says very clearly that your polling place may have changed but we had to send at least a dozen people down the road to vote in their assigned location. It doesn’t matter where you voted in the last election — you have to look at the information you were sent.
- I had to deal with my first case of ‘electioneering’ this election. A woman, her child, her husband and his father arrived, and she was wearing an Obama t-shirt and stickers all over her face and their baby stroller. This, of course, is a no-no, so I had to patiently explain they couldn’t come into the polling place with the t-shirt. Interestingly enough, her father-in-law, who was visiting from overseas, was more up on the law than she was, and loaned her his blazer so she could go in and vote. It all worked out in the end, but much like the last example, it’s not like this should have been a surprise.
Probably the biggest reason that the day went so smoothly was that I had a great group of folks working at the polls with me. Half of them had worked at a poll before, and the other half were motivated to learn and took the job seriously, which meant we had no glitches and were done with the cleanup in 45 minutes. I’m looking forward to the next election — except of course, for the campaigning and ads.