When I was in high school, I must have paid really close attention in my civics class (or maybe my teacher was really cute, although I don’t remember that being the case) because I was so excited about turning 18 and being able to vote.Â In fact, I was able to register at the age of 17 because I was turning 18 at the end of October and would therefore be eligible to vote at the first part of November.Â And vote I did!Â NeverÂ mind the fact this was in 1989 and there weren’t any “real” elections taking place.
To this day I vote and encourage other people to vote.Â The bit of irony here is that I’m generally pretty clueless about politics, so I rely on my hubby, who doesn’t vote, to keep me informed.Â Anyhoo… part of my voting zealousness is that I’ve always wanted to be a poll worker, especially during an important election.Â Â EvenÂ though I usually know well in advance of how I plan to vote andÂ could do the mail-in ballot, I love going to the poll location, grumbling with the others about the long and slow moving line,Â toÂ castÂ my vote.Â So this year I decided to submit my name and work the polls!Â You probably realize, of course, that the reality of my decision is starting to crash around me.
First, it’s been a month since I submitted my name and except for a frantic phone call from the election office the night before the primaries asking if I could work the next day (never mind the fact that I haven’t been through the required training yet and, oh yeah, have a full-time job) I hadn’t heard a word from anyone.Â I finally called the election office yesterday and the person I spoke to couldn’t find my name on any of her lists.Â She took my information again and then transferred me to the person who’s in charge of the polls in my area.Â Oddly enough, she did have me on her list.Â
She was nice enough to go ahead and schedule me for training.Â Which lasts for two and a half hours.Â On a Monday.Â In the middle of the day.Â Hey, what’s another vacation day from work to help out with the democratic process?!Â Ok, no problem, I went ahead and scheduled it.Â She then informed me that I would be expected to be atÂ my assignedÂ polling location (which, thankfully, in my own precinct and is literally within walking distance of my house) from 5:30am to 8pm.Â She recommended I bring food with me.Â Gee, thanks for the tip.Â AND, I would also be expected to arrive at my assigned poll location the day before the election to assist in setting up the booths and tables.Â
Ok, so I’m now up to two and half of vacation daysÂ that I’m using for this and the knowledge that I’ll be working almost 15 hours in one day (good lord, that’s the first time I actually added the hours up!) all so I can feel warm and fuzzy about the freakin’ democratic process.
Amazingly (stupidly?), I’ve decided to go ahead and do this.Â While you’re watching the election coverage on November 4th, you might want to keep your eye out for any news about a formerlyÂ civic-mindedÂ poll worker completely losing it around 7pm.