Election Judge Round Up

NaBloPoMo, Day 6

Overall, things were pretty calm and collected at the polling place where I served as an equipment manager election judge. No long lines, no broken-down machines, no fist fights. At most, we had maybe five people in line at any one time, waiting for one of only two touchscreen machines to become available.

Highlights of the day:

  • Most of the voters in my precinct were senior citizens. One gentleman who came in with his wife was born in 1918–the year WWI began! About an hour later, a gentleman who’d recently celebrated his 100th birthday (and didn’t look a day over 80) hustled in to vote using the touchscreen. He was one of the more with-it people I saw all day.
  • One older woman who I remembered from the primary election decided to use the touchscreen to vote, griping all the way. She was convinced the machine had been rigged, insisting that the check-marked selections appearing on each page weren’t entered by her. She took by far the longest to cast her ballot of anyone that day. Every few minutes she’d call me over with a loud “MISS!”, glare at me and register her distrust with this system, again. I offered many times to give her the chance to start over fresh or use the paper system, but she pooh-pooh’d my suggestions and kept on going. After at least twenty minutes of scrutinizing and pushing away at the screen, she finally cast her ballot and turned to me with a glint in her eye to declare that using the touchscreen was “really great.”
  • Early in the day, a youngish voter encountered a problem when she was asked to sign her application for ballot form. (In Illinois, your signature serves as your proof of ID.) When the election judge handed her a black pen to sign the form, she asked for a blue one instead and when she was told we only had black pens, she said, “Oh no, I only sign in blue ink.” The judges told her again that black was the only ink to be had and she declined to sign. She walked over to another precinct’s table to ask for a blue pen and found only black ink there as well. She was last seen walking away from the building and never came back. Apparently ink color was more important to her than anything on the ballot. One of my fellow judges, who’s been working the polls for over ten years, proclaimed, “Well, now I’ve seen everything.”

One thought on “Election Judge Round Up

  1. South Carolina is always short of poll workers. I should probably volunteer but I never know where I’ll be on election day. This year I was in New York.

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