tamorapierce: yellow sign showing figure banging head on desk (Default)
My beloved Spouse-Creature, Tim Liebe, had been an elections inspector for about ten years. For 7 or so of them he did duty as a Republican, because there weren't enough Republican volunteers to do the job--he's a Democrat, but he registered as a Republican so somebody would show up from that party--inspectors are supposed to be 50/50 from the two parties, and the Board of Elections won't accept independents, which is what I am. I finally threw a major tantrum, told him the Republicans could carry their own damn water, and he switched back to the party he actually votes for. Somehow they've rustled up enough Republicans to meet the requirements since then.

The point is that in all of the years he's done this, he's rarely seen anyone younger than 60 working at the polls. This is a REAL problem, folks. He recently published a plea to Facebook, and I thought I would re-post it here, in the hopes that the drive to do this public service for a few bucks and the future might take root. Please feel free to re-post!

Here's Tim in his own words:
"I just went to Election Inspector training this evening - which had been delayed two weeks because not enough people had shown up to fill the earlier class! The class, and the work, isn't difficult (I aced the test with only one wrong answer!) - it's tiring because you have to get up in the middle of the night and work until about 10 PM or so, but I find actively participating in the Democratic Process to be very satisfying. You even get paid a little for your time, if you want that.

What I'm trying to say is - why not check with your local Board of Elections, and see if THEY could use Election Inspectors and are still offering classes...?"

The old folks can't keep holding down the fort, people! Help with the process, please!

Date: 2015-05-21 07:09 pm (UTC)From: (Anonymous)
I have actually looked into it. My work gives lawyers the day off as a "pro bono work day" where they get paid for being an inspector for the democratic process. But as a staff member of a law firm I would have to take a vacation day (which are hard to come by) to be an inspector. I've taken this to HR as proof that things are not exactly fair. I have a grad degree, just not a law degree. They seem to think it is still equitable. I can take one of my hard earned days off, but I won't get paid for my pro bono work. So I am still waffling. I've been petitioning for a day off a year where we get paid to do charity work as a good will for the firm thing, but they are holding fast. XXOO Purlewe

Date: 2015-05-21 07:17 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] the_rck
the_rck: (Default)
Maybe when my daughter's a little older. They always cancel school on Election Day, and that means I have three kids (my daughter, her best friend, and her friend's little brother). I can go vote with them in tow, but I don't think I could work the polls.

There is also the question of transportation as I don't drive and our buses don't run very late in the evening or early in the morning. Buses are rare after 6:00 p.m. and stop running altogether at 9:30 or 10:00, depending on the route. I think they start up around 7:00 a.m., but I've never needed to take the bus that early, so I'm not sure. It might be 6:00 or 6:30. (I do my best to avoid needing to take the bus before 9:00. If I can do that, I miss most of the commuters and students and might actually get to sit down.)

Date: 2015-05-21 10:15 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] the_rck
the_rck: (Default)
I think the rationale these days is that it's somehow safer if the kids aren't there when all of these strange adults are allowed into the schools to vote. I know that, when I volunteer at the school, I have to sign in and out, and they only have one door that's unlocked. I had to have a background check, too. For voting, they have to let everybody in.

Though they don't cancel school around here for minor elections-- We had one on 5 May that was a state proposal for raising the sales tax in order to repair the roads (I was torn-- I really, really don't like sales taxes. I'd much rather they brought back property taxes. But the roads are abysmal and unsafe) and a bond proposal for our school district to be able to make some building repairs and replace some equipment that's falling apart. The schools stayed open for that. Of course, less than 20% of registered voters bothered, so maybe they thought it wasn't as big a deal. I don't know.

They did take pains to keep the kids far away from the gym and the hallways leading to it, however. That's logistically difficult because the gym at my daughter's school is centrally located. It's pretty much impossible for most of the school to get to lunch without passing the gym.

Date: 2015-05-21 11:55 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lazchan
lazchan: (Default)
Huh. It's not something I actually ever thought about, but it's something to look into. I live in an area that is exceedingly close to DC and all that hoo-hah, I have friends that work up on the Hill (and the commentary from her is interesting, to say the least) and so it'd be nice to have a more active part in the elections and encourage people. I'll definitely look into it!

Date: 2015-05-23 03:59 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] thegelf
thegelf: A librarian-fairy carrying a large book (Default)
When I was in high school, my county switched over to touch-screen voting machines. They lost many of their older election judges, and ended up recruiting highschoolers to fill the empty slots. I worked an election before I was old enough to vote (and since I wasn't old enough to vote, I wasn't registered to vote, thus ended up slotted as a Republican election judge for much the same reason your Spouse-Creature was). It was a lot of fun! I'd love to do it again. I'm stuck in the same position as most other Americans, I don't get election day off of work, and I'm early enough in my career I don't earn enough vacation to make taking that day off easy. I earn an additional week of vacation this year, though, so next election cycle I just might be able to make it happen!

My mother has also been doing election judge work for the last 15 years, and has risen to chief judge for her polling place.

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