Thursday, February 07, 2008

Back Home Again

It was great. Really busy and fun. I worked in the same precinct that we vote in, and got to meet new neighbors, see friends we don’t normally get to see, and marveled at their choice of parties. I spent most of my time on the “accelerated voter” machines.

This is the machine that initiates and builds your voter card. There is no way to coordinate your vote with any information other than your party choice. So don’t worry about Big Brother knowing how you voted.

I played a game with myself (which I won, by the way) were I would try to guess the party affiliate before I looked them up on the computer. The process is, for those of you who do not vote or do not have computer voting abilities, is you come in the door, go to a table and fill out a card that has your name, address, and, for this election, your party choice (either Dem or Rep – no Ind.) The people at the table will verify that you have filled out your card correctly, they check your photo id, and initial the card. The card is then brought to me. I key in your last name, and your first name if needed. I check the party you are choosing (this determines which names and issues will be loaded on your card for the voting machine,) and hit enter. The card comes out and you take it to the machine. When you insert the card, the needed information comes up on the screen (and your name and stuff is not on the card.) After you have made your choices you touch “Cast Ballot.” The card comes back out and you give it back to me to be used over again. Simple!

But occasionally you have to help some people with the process. We can help them up to the selection screen. We then MUST walk away. You vote is secret, know only to you and God and the little camera I installed behind you. Just kidding! Only you and any person you choose to tell.

We had quiet a few first time voters. High School Seniors came by after school and voted. I was really amazed that almost all of them marked Republican. Maybe there is still a voice for freedom somewhere in the Liberal government run schools. One lady who was born in 1925 (83 years old for you government school graduates) was voting FOR THE FIRST TIME. She was so cute. She was maybe 5’5” and 90 lbs. She talked real loud and tickled me to death. Let me say, first, that we, the pollsters, are not allowed to talk about the candidates, the parties, the issues, anything. We have to be impartial. Some people come in and make comments, but we have to deflect or ignore them. If you keep on talking about what is on the ballot, we have to ask you not to do it or ask them to leave the premises until you can come in a vote ONLY. So this little lady told me she was 83 years old (that’s 1925 for you government school graduates) and that this was her first time voting. She ask if I could make sure she marked her card correctly and said, in her loud voice, “I want to make sure I don’t vote for that Clinton woman or the man with the big ears.” All I could do was tell her that neither of those candidates would be on her ballot and she was free to vote on the Republican ticket. She ask if either of those two were Republicans. I said no, and helped her to the booth. When I turned back to the table, everyone in the place had smiles on their face. No one yelled foul play or anything. They were just as impressed with the lady as I was.

Occasionally, there are some who come in that you want to grab by the collar and slap some since into their thick skulls. A couple move here from Virginia where the have lived for a year and a half – and where they registered to vote. The moved back to the area, brought in a two year old voter registration card and were upset that they couldn’t vote. For your information, if you register in another precinct, town, city, or state, your precinct is notified of your new location and you are taken off the roles in the old place. They didn’t reregister, and thought that having the card would be proof that they had once voted here. They could not get it through their thick skulls that they could only vote in Virginia, if they could get back up there in time.

Enough! I know you are bored for now, but it was a fun and tiring day. Over 13 hours! Plus the delivery and pick up of the machines. The highlight of picking up the machines was the lunch we had at one of the elementary schools. It was such a treat watching the little yard apes get their meals, walk to their tables with all the authority a child can muster and sit at a table. It is their world, after all. They would skip seats and tell a friend to sit across from them. Then I noticed that they had to sit boy, girl, boy, girl. So the girls would try to sit across from each other. The boys didn't care. They were just so damn cute.

Buy! Later!


Cap'n Ergo "XL+II" Jinglebollocks said...

hee... neat story. What did the camera you mounted o'er her shoulder say she voted for??

e.Craig Crawford said...

That octogenarian lady might have been cute, but it's pretty damn scary when someone waits over 50years to vote for the first time, then doesn't even know if a candidate is Democrat or Republican. At least she was either smart or lucky enough to choose the right party.
Sounds like it was a fun and entertaining day for you.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

So glad you did your civic duty so cheerfully and civilly. And civicly. LOL. And properly.

Good job.


Why is it that you say that the republicans are for freedom but not the liberals?

whatevergirl said...

Great story! I am always amazed at the cheerfulness of the volunteers at the polls. Last time they told my daughter how I had done a "wonderful and important thing".
I agree with craig. It is scary when uninformed people vote! Someone I know told me they were voting for Obama, and I said "you know he is for government run healthcare, right?" I was floored by the response "oh, he is?"
But I just love the fact that people get out and vote. One woman voting had a gargantous "RON PAUL" bumper sticker on HER PURSE! I kid you not!

Coffeypot said...

hot lemon, she voted for that one.

e.craig, I wanted so bad to ask her, but she made it clear that she didn’t like Hitlery. I wondered if it was the adds she put out saying so many elderly women were voting for her simply because she was, questionably, a woman.

mst, it is because the Liberals believe in BIG Government that controls your life because you are too stupid to take care of yourself. They hate individualism and the ability to build up a company that made you rich. They believe you should give your money to people who are too fucking lazy to work, yet the keep having kids to make more money, get food stamps and demand they be given all the perks of those who work for it. They believe the war is wrong, and it may be, but that is beside the point. We ARE there and we should not stop until the Taliban is destroyed and Iraq can function on its own. They preach losing the war thus making America more vulnerable. I can go on if you like, but basically, the Liberals are trying to bring down the US and make us subservient to other Nations. Only the Rich and Powerful will rule the country. The rest of us have to abide by the laws THEY deemed worth to help keep them in power. As for the poor, let them get a job, feed and clothe their family even if it means not having a 2008 car or truck, or a HD wide screen TV, or five cell phones, or designer clothes or food stamps, or free healthcare, or anything else I’m expected to pay for.

Coffeypot said...

whatever girl, that is against the law. No advertisement for any candidate can be displayed in a precinct. The polling manager was suppose to tell her that she would have to leave her purse 150 feet from the front door, and that she could not be allowed to vote until she did so. The county should be informed of the location and the situation so that it won’t happen again. Some people’s arrogance, especially the Ron Paul people, is amazing. One man parked his truck in the parking lot of my neighboring precinct and stood on the road with his Ron Paul poster. That was okay, but his truck had a huge RP banner in the windshield of the truck. He was asked to move it and he cussed the poll manager and said he didn’t know whose truck it was. She said she saw him drive it up and get out. He cussed her again and asked if she was calling him a liar. She said no, that all she was going to call was the tow service and 911 for someone making threatening remarks, and pulled out her cell phone. He moved the truck, but those RP folks are NUTS.

Get involved next time. We are having State elections in July and the total elections in November. If you have the time to work a precinct, you will be amazed at the stories you hear and the people you will meet.

whatevergirl said...

Yes I know it was illegal. I marveled at the ignorance. I came in and there was 1 person in front of me. Then less than 2 minutes later, there were 30 people behind me. She was about the 30th person coming in the door, and I saw her as I was leaving. Hopefully, the manager saw her and told her.
As for the guy in the truck--what an idiot! I bet Ron Paul would be proud!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...


I would like to react gently to this, but right now I don't have time.

Hopefully I will come back.

I consider myself a liberal, but I don't want what you SAY I want.

I Don't want babies and innocent people killed by us in war for oil.

I don't want our boys killed, either--my son is over there.

I don't know what the answer about the war is--but I don't think anyone else really knows, either, listening to them.

I am not in favor of abortions, I would prefer that all babies conceived were born. But there are some times when an abortion might actually be the right thing.

But anyway, I'll come back. I gotta run right now.

I do believe in your right and my right to believe, to speak and to vote for what we think is right.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I also believe in dialogue and in LISTENING to what other people have to say.

Biddie said...

Wow. Idon't know enough about the American candidates to say one way or another, but still, this was a great post.
I'm glad that the lil lady finally made it out to vote, and ever more, I'm glad that you won your game :)

GrizzBabe said...

Unfortunately, I was not able to vote on Super Tuesday because I was too busy trying to dodge tornados.

GrizzBabe said...

Oh, and speaking of your game, how were you able to determine whether a candidate was voting in the democratic primary or the republican one?

Coffeypot said...

I consider myself a liberal, but I don't want what you SAY I want.
I am a slightly conservative Republican. I don’t agree with the solid GOP platform, but I do believe in small government, less taxes and individual freedom. If you vote on the Democratic ticket you are voting for everything I said. Hitlary and The Ears are both Socialist. Universal Health Care is Socialist. Look at the Dems in the house. All are spouting Socialist theories.

I don’t want babies and innocent people killed by us in war for oil.
The American soldiers are not involved in wholesale murder of people over there. That, too, is a Democratic sputter. The innocent people and babies are being killed by their own people. And there are no innocent people over there. They are either in the Taliban or a supporter of the Taliban. If you know who is planning, placing and exploding bombs in crowds and do not tell anyone, then they are not innocent people. They are part of the problem.

And I we are not fighting for oil. We only get 20% of our oil from that region. We get more oil from Mexico and South America than from that area of the world. If oil was the goal, we would have control over them now. All we do is rebuild – better – the stuff we destroy. We have given women back human rights – as much as their religion will allow. They have more cell phone coverage and fresh water and “stuff.” We are doing good over there.

I don't want our boys killed, either--my son is over there.
I don’t want any more personal killed either. Give me your son’s name and I will pray for him and his mates, but he didn’t get drafted. He joined with the knowledge that he could be sent in harms way. I am proud of him and wish him well. What does your son say about his tour?

I don't know what the answer about the war is--but I don't think anyone else really knows, either, listening to them.
If I had the answer, no one in Congress would listen. But pulling them out would be the biggest mistake the US could make.

I am not in favor of abortions; I would prefer that all babies conceived were born. But there are some times when an abortion might actually be the right thing.
I am not in favor of abortions either. But I do not think it is a government issue. It is the woman’s decision, along with some input from the father. Only those two! The government should not have anything to say about it. If it is wrong, the woman will answer for it when she meets her God. That is not a Republican stance, but I’m not totally Right-Wing.

I do believe in your right and my right to believe, to speak and to vote for what we think is right.
I love the idea of discussions and points of view. Especially if you agree with me. But my biggest concern is the loss of individual rights and individual accountability. Socialism will take that away from us. Look at the countries that are Socialist countries. France, Germany, and the Russian Bock. They are all in sad shape. Their economy is in the toilet and they are, basically, third world countries. Even England is having some trouble. This is what scares me to death.

Hurry back!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I am what I consider to be a rabid individualist--I've never been in for fads, I do not do or wear things because they are "in fashion" (I hate that!)

I have solo walked through the Adirondacks and Colorado mountains, solo camped in the wilderness, was one of the first women to graduate from the college of Forestry, the only girl in most of my classes.

I believe in individualism.

But not at the expense of people who are unable to care for themselves like the retarded and the elderly etc.

My son's name is Neil. This is NOT his first tour of duty. He was in Guantanamo. He studied Farsi and he chose to go because he believes it's the right thing to do. He is trying to help. He is the father of the three grandchildren whose pictures you have seen.

I did NOT say pull out our troops.

I said I don't like war, I don't like killing, and I don't like my son in harm's way. I said I don't know what the answer is, but I don't like the lying that got us into this war. All that stuff about WMD!

And I do not believe everyone in Iraq, where Neil is, or in Afghanistan, or Iran is evil. I think they are human beings like me and you, some good, some bad, some deluded, some totally innocent.

Jodi said...

I played a game with myself

When you play with yourself, you usually get a happy ending, um, I

They were just so damn cute. Elementary-age kids always look cute.....from a distance.

Buy! Lord, Coffeypot, use spellcheck! It's "b-y-e". Sheesh! Do I have to do EVERYTHING for you?! (wink)

Yours affectionately,

ccw said...

Ohio also has that "pick a party" policy. Then you are registered as whatever party you chose. It makes me mad every primary that I cannot vote as an independent.

Our poll workers have always been the same cheery people. Only the people stumping for candidates outside our bad. In many of the local races I vote for the candidate not handing out junk outside. Sort of irresponsible voting but it makes me feel better.

Unknown said...

I much appreciated and enjoyed the dialogue that resulted from this blog. Herein you had/have a diverse cross-section of middle America that weighted in on their personal opinions and beliefs regarding our nation's current state of political and social affairs...and the exhanges were reasoned and civil. Would our national leaders conduct thsmeves in a like that would be refreshing. Thanks... J.A.L.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

“I want to make sure I don’t vote for that Clinton woman or the man with the big ears.”

That's outstanding.

Anonymous said...

welcome back - due to my own harrowing week, I haven't had a lot of time to comment. One of those days was gong down to the local precinct to do that caucus thing. It was apparent that the organizers didn't expect the turnout. First off - not enough coffee, next, very few cookies. However, it pays to be early - and to get a chair....
During the close and all votes cast, they ask for volunteers for the real thing in November - to be Election Judges. I thought it sounded kinda cool so I said I would. I signed up. She said they will call me for training and that I would be getting paid.... wow! paid! I don't really care about the pay. I am more interested like you of those who come in and vote. A people watcher. Voyeur seems such a negative word. Well glad you are back. nlm

Coffeypot said...

Hooter J, spell check worked. BUY is spell correctly – just not use correctly. But you got the point, didn’t you. Teachers! Shheeeshh!

ccw, I know how you feel. If the independents ever get a candidate that isn’t goofy as hell I will probably vote that way. I’m not real right winged, just right of center.

Jim, I agree, but they are more interested in power (both sides) than what is good for America.

rwa, she had her son, looked about 65, with her and helping her walk out. She was proud of herself.

nlm, good for you. I think you will enjoy your experience. But we didn’t have coffee and doughnuts for the masses. Of course we aren’t up to our asses in snow, either.
We had our own, but we don’t share. It took all of 5 minuets to vote, and the lines were moving not stop. Of course we aren’t up to our asses in snow, either. Enjoy your experience.