Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Day At the Polls

Yesterday I had an interesting experience.  I worked at the polls.  It was a long day.  I had to be there at 5:15 A.M. and I didn't get home until about 9 P.M. I never once left the building.

A friend of mine who is active in the political process in town called me and asked me if I would serve.  I worked  in the presidential primary election and I was a checker at the republican table.  (Ironically, many acquaintances who are familiar with my political leanings questioned why I was on the republican side so I explained you go where you're needed.)

The job consists of confirming a person's identity, residence in town and registration in the political party you're working.

For the most part everything went smoothly.  Occasionally there were people who were at the wrong voting place or who didn't know which party they belonged to. (Not kidding. This happened a lot or they weren't registered for either party.  They thought all you had to be was a registered voter to vote in a primary.) Eventually we straightened everything out and moved on.

A few observations:
There are more registered republicans than democrats in Newtown where I live.  While no one can see a completed ballot, the voters did talk among themselves and even to me while waiting to get checked in.  Generally, I got the sense they were overwhelmingly  Trump supporters.  Comments ranged from good old fashioned values to fixing the terrible immigration problem to those terrible socialist democrats.  In fact one guy called over to the democratic table which was right next to the one I was working and said their sign was mislabeled.  It should read socialists or communists!  (I felt like telling him I was in fact a democrat and he was a jerk but I figured I'd get in trouble.)

There was no particular demographic that I could see-young, old, blue collar or white collar.  One thing they all had in common was they were white.  Another factor could have been level of education but that was hard to tell. Besides having an education doesn't necessarily mean you're smart.

Another thing that caught my attention was the number of people who had switched parties to vote in the republican primary.  I think that says a lot about the way people are feeling about the political process these days.

As it turns out Donald Trump won the Connecticut republican primary along with four other states.  He is most likely going to be the candidate to go to the national election.

I'm wondering if I'll be asked to  work the big one.  That would be an even longer day because the verification process after the polls are closed is more involved and would take longer.  If asked, maybe I'll just take a pass.  It would probably be better if I did anyway because I might overhear some moron and make an inappropriate remark!

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