A Nineteen Hour Day


I learned yesterday that the polling place where I’m serving as an Equipment Manager Election Judge will not allow us in the night before to set up our station. (Argh! Curses!) Setting up the polling booths, the optical scanner, the touchscreen machines, and ensuring that all machines are in working order takes about an hour, assuming all goes smoothly. In the best possible world, this prep is done the day before. There’s enough to worry about on election day.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and election judges are required to be on site at 5 a.m. The building manager for my precinct has graciously (ha!) agreed to open the building early, which means I need to be there at 4:30 in the morning. Working backwards, that means I’ll have to wake up at 3 a.m. and if I want to get a good eight hours sleep, I’ll have to go to bed at 7 Monday evening!

All in all, once polls close, votes have been transmitted, I’ve made my drop-off at the receiving station, and gotten some dinner, I’ll have put in nearly a twenty hour day!

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth the money. I know that once I’m in the midst of the process on Tuesday, it will be interesting and a tad bit exciting and that’s part of the reason I’m participating as an election judge. I keep reminding myself that the money I earn will go toward purchasing a big comfy chair for the library I’m setting up in the spare room at home. If I think of it that way, and not in terms of an hourly rate, it helps to make it all tolerable.

I suspect it won’t make it any easier to get up at 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

4 thoughts on “A Nineteen Hour Day

  1. In KY we have to be at the polling place to set up at 5 a.m., even tho I’m just a sheriff, which involves hanging the flag and keeping voters in line. And it usually is 7p.m. before it’s all over, delivering the machines, etc. Take heart–you get about twice as much money for those extra hours. Poverty is hell, isn’t it!

  2. Allan: Indeed! I don’t know that I’ll last seven years but I’ll definitely work the November election.
    Raja: It will be a much more gratifying process this time around. Last year we logged a grand total of nine votes! And yes, every little bit $$ helps.
    Ruthe: Absolutely not! I’m looking forward to it. I’ll just be sure to caffeinate throughout the day.

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