As County employees, we're encouraged to help out at election time and volunteer to be a Pollworker. It's a great opportunity, and I've done it, I think, almost every election since 2001. I was scheduled again for this election, but on Wednesday of last week, I got a huge assignment due tomorrow that I was told was my priority, outstripping every other thing on my desk.
I realized that there was no way I could complete it and be off all day on election day (today) so on Thursday, I contacted (by email) the person at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office who had been assigned to me. She wrote back and confirmed receiving my message, and I thought she would contact the inspector running the polling place I'd been assigned to and let him know he was down a man, or assign someone else to his location.
As of 6 a.m. this morning, he knew nothing about that. He called the house (I was gone already, on my way to work) and left a message. Patrick called me and gave me the guy's info, and I called him back. He said that there were only 2 people at the location, and that he hadn't been notified that I wasn't coming. I was sorry, but you know, work comes first, and I did let them know.
So. Now my work day is over (assignment completed! Yay!) and I'm about to head over to that polling place so I can vote.
I just hope it doesn't go this way:
We should take a cue from the state of Oregon and let everyone vote by mail. Wouldn't that be easier? and cheaper? From my experiences as a pollworker (always just a clerk: the responsibility of being an inspector just isn't worth the tiny bit of extra pay), it's a complex and incredibly intricate operation. Anything can go wrong, and often does. The training is a joke (there's so much to know and so little time to absorb it all), and by using volunteers, well, let's just say that while some people are responsible and conscientious... some people just aren't, and the county doesn't seem to do a great job of weeding those people out.
I don't know. There's got to be a better way. Did you vote yet today? You have until 8 p.m.