Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On Being an Election Judge

Yesterday I served as one of six election judges at a polling place in Crystal Lake. I had signed up late for this, after seeing an ad in the Woodstock Independent, and I really had no idea what was involved. I figured that there might be shifts of 4-6-8 hours and that would be it.


Once I had agreed to serve, I learned that I'd have to arrive at 5AM. I knew that polls opened at 6AM and closed at 7PM, but I hadn't known that the judges were expected to be there throughout the entire time. And then stay to work and officiate until the ballots were safely enroute to the township office. So, yes; there were shifts. Long ones!

My day stretched from arising at 3:45AM until I arrived home at 9:00PM. But it was worth it!

We were busy from 6:00-6:50AM and then pretty even throughout much of the day. There was no noon-time rush, and there was no last-minute rush at all. That was a real surprise. Very few voters came after 5:00PM, and almost none between 6:15-7:00PM. The last voter of the day hurried to complete her ballot and made errors on two of them. Then she began to leave, being more than a little frustrated. However, judges encouraged her to stay and to fill out yet one more ballot. In her rush, she was over-voting for one office, and the machine kept rejecting her ballot. No one rushed her, and she did get her ballot correctly prepared and cast.

Will I serve again? Yes.

No comments: