I know, with a post title like that you really don't want to keep reading, right? You're tired of political discussions and jokes and ads. I don't blame you! Well, don't worry, this isn't about who I think you should vote for for President or how to vote on a certain amendment! :)
On Friday night I went to a 4 hour training class to be an Election Judge. I'm not sure what I was thinking - something noble like getting involved in the political process - but I'll be at some yet to be determined polling place at 5:30 in the morning (do they actually still make that time? I haven't seen it for a while) and will be there until well after the polls close at 7 pm. I'll be ensuring there's no electioneering, making sure no one's using any electronic devices, checking people's IDs, verifying their address, and encouraging them to vote on a paper ballot instead of opting for the ONE electronic voting machine. Oh yeah, and I learned how to set up said electronic voting machine. And what to do if someone "flees with their ballot." :) And all about provisional ballots and ballot box seals and signs that have to be posted and the crazy number of paper forms to be filled out.
So now I have about 15 days to read the Election Judge manual over and over again until I could recite in my sleep (which is what my brain prefers to do at 5:30 am). Fun! No really :) I am looking forward to it!
The training itself was actually really interesting. It was fun to set up the electronic voting machine and to play with it a bit. I've never used one because I either vote by mail or vote with a paper ballot since there's usually a long line for the machine. I learned a lot. For example, in 2004 I didn't vote until later in the day and in the early afternoon I got a call from a representative of my chosen political party asking if I was planning to vote and if I needed a ride to the polling place. I always wondered how they knew I hadn't voted yet and now I know all about "poll watchers" and what they're allowed to see and do at each polling place and what they're not. So cool...
So, since you now know I'll be an election judge and I now know what the process is like, if you live in my county I highly recommend that you vote early (which you can do sometime between tomorrow and Halloween)! Or, if you'll be voting at whatever polling place I'm assigned to, make sure you have a valid ID, aren't wearing or talking about anything promoting a particular candidate or issue, and bring me something caffeinated! :)