Well, LC2 has been down with a cold and busy just keeping up with shoveling snow and getting through this "old fashioned Wisconsin winter". I wanted to share the joys of working at a voting poll on Feb. 19.
It's a long day, you get there at 6am (well, after dealing with the overnight snow and putting the garbage out, it was more like 6:15 for me). We had to rush to set things up because the location of our poll within the building was changed. So, we had to move tables and figure out a configuration before we could set up the voting stations, including the TSX touch screen. Our poll chair has generally let me take care of that, and it has been interesting, since I realize after setting it up and shutting it down, that there isn't any weird stuff going on, at least at our polling place. My feeling is our chair, a pretty conservative guy, figures he'll have the liberal chick take care of that, and no one will question our results. OK, that's cool strategy.
The polls open at 7am and we had folks waiting. The day was pretty constant, there weren't a lot of lolls in the voting as we've had in the past. My only break away was to go on a run to Starbucks to get coffee for a couple of us. Other than that, we all pretty much ate lunch and worked (we do a pot luck at our poll, I made chili, which was perfect for the cold day). There were a lot of registrations and we all rotated jobs this time to get experience at everything.
Our location did have over 1000 voters between both wards, which I thought was good. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to close things out after the voting. As a poll worker, we have to go through the optical scan ballots to look for write ins. Folks, if you're reading this, if you want to do a write in on a ballot, please do it on the Touch Screen electronic station, which records it and prints it out at the end, making it really simple for the poll workers. Having to go through every paper ballot is really tedious and just opens the possibility of error handling all those ballots. If you want to vote for Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse, please use the Touch Screen.
Every ballot has to be accounted for, used or unused. We had major problems with folks on the paper ballots voting for two president, one in each party. Folks also voted for too many candidates in the school board primary. Obviously folks don't read the ballots or listen to our instructions. Of course, if you vote for to many, your ballot is rejected in the Op. scan and we have to issue you a new ballot. That involves recording the voter number, time, etc. in order to account for the destroyed ballot (the voter rips it up and throws it away).
The day ended about 9:30pm for the workers. The chair has to deliver the equipment and results and ballots to the City Clerk's office. I'm sure that's not a quick process.
I'll be doing 2 more elections this year, but, decided because of my campaign work, that it wouldn't be appropriate for me to work at the November election.
BTW, WSEU members, if you're interested in working at the polls, we have contract language that allows us to be away from work to do that and not have to use vacation. It works very similar to jury duty. Check your contract or with your local reps. if you're interested and then contact your City Clerk!
Oh ya, the best part of the day Obama won!