Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Working the polls

I told a guy friend I was working the polls on Tuesday and he wondered if I meant pole dancing. Yeah, that's so like me. No, yesterday was the democratic primary here. Most of the people in our precinct voted only for governor and had no idea who the people running for lieutenant governor were. When I say "all the people" that was only speaking for the 69 people who voted. Pretty pitiful. For the presidential election we had over 600 vote in our precinct.

Needless to say, it was a long day working the polls. Actually, I like the people I work with and they make the day go a little faster so it's less painful. Also, it's fun to see some of my "neighbors" who I don't see on a regular basis. We get some real characters in who keep things interesting too. Some people get irritated over the slightest things or even throw a tantrum. God forbid, their name doesn't appear in our poll book and we have to make make a phone call to be sure they can vote in our precinct. Some storm out the door like they think they're punishing us. One man was so patient with us yesterday. His name didn't appear in the book even though his wife's name was there and he had just voted in the November election. We called the board of elections to see why he wasn't in the book and found that someone else had the same name, Regis Bowman, but it was a woman with the middle name Geraldine. She had moved out of state so they removed her name. Unfortunately for our Regis, the man, they got them mixed up and his name, too, was removed. He was such a good sport even though he had to hang out with us for 15 more minutes. His wife was a trooper too.

An 82 year old woman came in a half hour before we were to close, dressed in a very flowery blouse and a big straw hat. She's very loud and her speach is slurred like she's had too much to drink. She demands you pay attention to her and she's extremely bossy. One of my co-workers, Richard, was really reamed out by her. He asked which booth she wanted to use. She couldn't hear or understand him and said, "I can't understand you. You speak right to me. I'm an old lady". He told her he was an old man too. He's 70 and not in good health. She then went on to tell him all her ailments. Every now and then she'd start to cry for no more than 5 seconds and then it would disappear and she'd rant about something else. I'd never seen anything like it. As mean as she was to Richard, when she was done voting he gave her her "thank you for voting" sticker and said, "and I thank you too". I think he may have softened her a little. She must have stayed for half an hour and only left because 2 other people came in to vote and she was in their way. I wish I could remember more of what she had to say because it was so outrageous. To her credit, she often brings us brownies on election day. We could've used them yesterday. Why is it that when you sit around doing nothing all you want to do is eat?

I always dread working the polls the day before and it always turns out to be better than I expected, well worth the $100.00 or so that I earn for the day. I bet pole dancers earn a lot more and meet some pretty interesting characters too but I guess I'm too old for that.

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