...busting up my brains for the words

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Election Judge training

After our Walk I had enough time to email my pics to the intrepid Larry Colson, our Minnesota eCampaign Chairman. That, and a quick check with MetroTransit. I caught a #4 bus south to Washburn Library where I received the official two-hour training to be an Election Judge.
I signed up for this job several weeks ago at the encouragement of the campaign.
Republicans must be represented at the polls in order to ensure fairness and discourage cheating.

The class was in a super-heated basement room of the library. It was so warm in there, I began to doze off a few times. Well, I can't blame it all on the heat. The subject matter was not exactly the most enticing imaginable. The two hours were jam-packed with procedures and official policies. There was so much information of a complex nature, the bare solace of the session was a reassurance that we did not have to memorize anything. All the information is written onto fact sheets for our use now and on Election Day. Also, it was pointed out that we will be in the company of seasoned Election Judges who have been doing this work for many years. They are resources to be relied upon.
All this information and protocol prompted a question from a classmate;
"Do election judges ever make mistakes?"
"No. Our election judges are always right because they are trained so well in doing their jobs."

Regardless whether this was a sincere answer or not, a laugh was elicited. I don't think I dreamt that.
One fellow in the class pointed out that some dastardly deed doers will sneak campaign materials into the restroom of the polling place in violation of election law. For no campaign materials are allowed within 100 feet of a polling place. Our teacher thereby appointed that fellow to be the restroom police for his polling place. But only for the men's room.
I got the distinct sense that this teacher had a low tolerance for gratuitous questions that would chew up her time. Fortunately, no one asked about remedial actions to be enacted against dozing election judges. Unless I slept through that part.

All joking aside, I do take the role of Election Judge seriously. It isn't the sexiest job in town, but if it will help ensure that Republican votes are counted fairly in Hennepin County, then I'm down for it. If we remember Florida in 2000, it may matter. And it may matter a lot.


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