No, Walt, not that kind of pole worker. (
I woke up at a little before 4:00 A.M. on Tuesday, got dressed and hustled out the door to get to my polling place by 5:00. The night before, I had laid out all of my clothes gear, and set up the coffee to brew before I went to bed.
I arrived at my polling place at 5:00. Not to vote for Barack Obama, i had done that the previous week by Absentee Ballot. You see, I was (once again) acting as a Moderator for the November Election. By 5:30. we had a line 50 deep. By the time we opened up the pools by 6:00 the line was probably closer to 100. The rush of voters that flowed through our doors didnâ€™t let up until 8:30.
From 8:30 through the rest of the day, while the flow of voters remained steady, it never again reached the mass of voters that we had at the start of the day (much to my disappointment). Yea, I was really expecting a crush of voters again both at lunchtime and again after work and until end of the day. None of that happened. In fact, our closing out of the poll was rather meager.
Still, the day itself was very exciting, and well, quite entertaining. There were hundreds of voters (over 4,200 at my polling place), and the day did not lack for drama. At about 7:00 A.M. one voterâ€™s paper ballot jammed in the scanner. (In CT we now use a paper ballot and electronic scanning system.) I managed to remove the balot but a small corner of the ballot tore off and stuck inside the scanner.
Needless to say, the â€œchadâ€ was jammed inside the scanner and couldn’t be reached by hand, or with the pen that I had in my pocket. A scissor blade was too thick (and short) to reach it, but I did locate a piece of cardboard that I used to extract the torn section of ballot. Luckily the ballot box comes complete with a side â€œAuxiliary slotâ€ were ballots can be dropped in case just a problem arises.
All-in-all, the entire incident tool about 10 minutes (years of clearing paper jams in copy machines and printers prepared me for the incident). Still it was a nerve-wracking 10 minutes.
At the end of the day when I was sitting back at City Hall waiting for the Chief Moderator to tally out all of the Cityâ€™s ballots, I caught on TV, President Elect Obamaâ€™s acceptance speech. When I noticed that he was on stage at midnight accompanied by his wife and two young daughters, all I could think was â€œHeâ€™s going to lose the Family Values people when they they see that he has his kids up this late on a school night.â€
Only in America.