The elections are over...

@Loverbear (4929)
United States
November 8, 2012 3:52pm CST
The elections are over and we're either thrilled or disappointed with the results. We have heard either the concession or victory speeches from the candidates. As you sit through the long winded speeches of various politicians, and listen to them thank "everyone" from their spouses to the janitor they forget the most important group of people on election day...the precinct workers. Those people who sit behind the tables and assist each and every voter who is there to cast their vote in one form or another. They man the voter roster, accept the vote by mail (formerly "Absentee") ballots, issue "provisional ballots" to the voters who have problems with their ballots. They are the people who work from 6 to 16 hours during election day. They also give up another 4 or 5 hours to attend classes to learn any new rules made by the particular state they live in, and to learn any new procedures. We have to be pleasant and polite to the voter and accept any abuse they choose to offer. There have been times where the abuse has been horrible! Tuesday was one of those times. The "lady" felt that she could insult us, scream at us, tell us how stupid we are, and make demands. She informed us that she had worked elections and we were doing things totally wrong and we were soooooo stupid. We took the verbal abuse and allowed the woman to have things her way. Our elections official told me today that we did the right thing, but the sting of the woman still remains. Yes, we do get paid, but when you break it down by the number of hours and the end pay, we don't even make minimum wage. We do it because we love the job. We manage to have fun and visit with people that come to our precinct each election. I bake at least 13 dozen cookies for the workers, voters and the people at the county who count the ballots. I have "NEVER" heard an elected official state on national television "and thank you to all the people that man the polls each election, giving up their time, family time, and energy to make sure that the elections occur. It would be nice, just once, to hear that come out of one of the candidates mouths! Have any of you worked the polling place? If you haven't you might want to try it. It's an interesting experience and you will have a new outlook on the work that the people do to make sure that you can exercise their right to vote. The poll workers are taken for granted, and often times people feel that they don't need to treat the poll workers like people, that the workers can take all the crap you want to hand them...especially about the candidates. Next election, think about saying thank you to those people who are working the polls. We set up the polling place, issue the ballots, help the voters, and at the end of the night we bundle the ballots to send to the office to be counted. We have to make sure that the books balance, that the polling place is clean and the supplies are back in their boxes, and that the polling place is locked up and the key is returned to the owner of the polling place. A simple thank you from the voters really makes our day! It would make our lives if one of the major candidates would remember to thank us too.
3 people like this
5 responses
@GardenGerty (88933)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Nov 12
We have had the same poll workers ever since I can remember and we always have a nice chat. I think the world runs on volunteers of all kinds. Thank you is the least that people could say.
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
9 Nov 12
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad the election is over. I had heard all the b/s i could stand, lol.I'm sure the people working the polls don't get many thank yous & they should. I am not into politics period but do appreciate anyone that works anywhere.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60016)
• United States
8 Nov 12
I worked as an assistant judge at a primary election. Mind you, I did most of the work because the judge was confused by the rules. I informed the judge I was NEVER working another one. We were up at 5, couldn't leave the polling place - well, okay, I ran off and got a bite to eat - but besides that and a few potty breaks - I was there from 6 until 8. I had to wrap up our part of the voting stuff because the judge was going to stay and run the meeting afterward... since she didn't drive anyway, I had to drive the ballot box and forms to the station and turn them in. I have since worked some election night stuff where the election materials are turned in, but I didn't this year because I've been in so much pain. The only problem we had was when the other party "hijacked" a couple who didn't want to vote for that party, but because they were set up closer to the door, had caught them and signed them up. After that big upset, all we could do was say we were sorry and that we couldn't do anything about it, but then the other party were more careful to make sure that the people came in were indeed looking for their party. I must say, they were pretty rude to us the whole day. The only one who was half way nice was the other judge, she apologized to the couple and made her people make sure they asked before they took information. She also thanked me for helping get the site set up since her 2 helpers were late.
@Loverbear (4929)
• United States
8 Nov 12
This time we were short handed and of course I am the head of all the consolidateds (precincts) in the building. We had a lady who had dropped her absentee ballot in the receptical (which was sealed). We told her that she would have to vote "provisional" and she threw a total fit. She informed us that the provisional ballots are ONLY counted if the elections are close, otherwise they don't count them. Another worker and I informed the lady that it isn't true. She whipped around on us and told us that she had worked elections for many years and that was what was done. She also informed us that we were "STUPID", and even though we both informed her that we had worked elections for 23 years and knew how things were done, she still again told us we were "STUPID". We finally allowed the woman to vote regular, and then we wrote a note to the clerks office about the situation and I informed the "boss" about the woman. She is very likely being reported to the state attorney general for prosecution for election fraud. I mentioned to one of the other precinct workers that I was working with extreme pain. She was in awe as I was on my feet the whole day. I managed to get a 20 minute break and after the supervisor for our area called and complained that I wasn't at the polling place, even though it was my lunch; I went back to the polls. Otherwise everyone else got their breaks and dinners. I demand that of my people that they eat and get their breaks...and that they leave the building and get away from the hub bub of the polls. It is so nice to hear from someone else who has worked the elections. Did your county provide commemorative pins for the workers? My county does, and the whole precinct workers were ready to revolt because we didn't have the pins in the supply box. We got them later. It is about the only decent perk that they provide. I have about forty of the pins that I am going to mount and frame.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60016)
• United States
8 Nov 12
We were allowed a judge, an assistant judge and 2 clerks (we had one, the other party had 2). We really didn't NEED 2, we weren't that busy, but since I had to pick up the clerk as well as drive the judge to the polling place, I was just as glad I didn't have to pick up anyone else! The clerk caught the bus home before I left with the ballots. Pins? we were lucky to get tags that said "Judge" on them!
@Loverbear (4929)
• United States
16 Nov 12
Hey lady, PM me please. I may have a surprise for you. It is something that NO ONE in your area would have and you've earned it. ;-)
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
10 Nov 12
[b]Been there, done that. You are 100% correct! So, from one to another, THANK YOU!!!!!! Maggiepie[/b]
@Loverbear (4929)
• United States
16 Nov 12
It is soooo nice to see you here! How have you been???? I've missed you so much and have worried about you tons. You've been in my prayers every night that you are well and safe. Thank you so much for the thank you. I have been composing a letter to the President in my mind for the past few days, it would be nice if once in a while the "elected" officials remembered that the elections wouldn't happen if it weren't for the "little" people that not only work the horrendously long shifts to collect the votes that put them in office, but they also attend classes. Also, in my case, spending all day Sunday baking dozens and dozens of cookies for the workers and voters. Then there are the people that work in the office counting votes, researching "provisional" ballots, opening and counting absentee votes and attending to various duties during the election night. It seems like the candidates only remember the people working directly with their campaign. And, to quote a very intelligent person, "From one to another, THANK YOU!!!!!!!" for all the work you have done on behalf of the voters.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
28 Nov 12
[b] Thank you for your prays, too, hon. Maybe yours are the ones that brought me up from 4 heartbeats a minute to the normal number. Maggiepie[/b]
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
8 Nov 12
I am sure there is a lot of work involved besides the time you spend, but I never thought to thank those who are working the polls. I almost called up to see if they needed help this year, but I didn't and I know they didn't need the help because my neighbor called and they already had enough people, so she didn't help out. I will try to remember to thank them next time..:)
@Loverbear (4929)
• United States
8 Nov 12
I will say that if you want to work, the pay is nice for the day's work. Yes, you often really work for the pay, but if you stop and think that you would probably not be doing anything to make money that day, it is worth the time. I would recommend that you apply now for the next election. That way you get a better chance of being selected than people that apply closer to the elections. They keep all the applications and the people who have already worked get chosen first, but there is always people that can't work that day and they need people. It is a nice amount of money to receive tax free. I'll pm you the amount I earned this time...when I receive the check.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Nov 12
Yes I heard the pay is good, but knowing the "cliche" out here, I would have to apply every year and I'd still would not be chosen for a long time. If my neighbor wasn't picked, then I definitely won't be..