Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I felt dirty afterward....

Today I acted like a democrat. Go read my previous post if you can't imagine why.

During my conference period, I drove over to the polling place for my precinct.

It was in a public elementary school and there were about 4 precincts in that one location.... democrat and republican primaries.

The republicans were in the NE corner of the school library and the democrats were in the SW corner.

No one was in line in the republican primary.

The democrat line (where I was standing) was stretched out the door, around the corner and down the hallway.

You can visually tell the difference between a republican and democrat person. Not kidding.

The democrats in line with me were crusty. VERY CRUSTY.
There were two VERY old looking people in raggedy clothes but they were probably actually my age, one with hemorrhaging all over her face, the other with few teeth in his mouth... (they were together). There was a bleach blond hussy, dressed in hussy clothes with fuzzy boots who looked a bit like a mail-order Russian bride, and then people of color; Asians, blacks, and Mexicans a few unkempt young women with snotty nosed kids at their ankles and a few blue color workers in uniform.

The contrast with the republican side of the room was incredible.

The republican side of the library, had about 5 people working the polls, with no voters. (well there may have been one finishing up when I got there). They were not crusty. They were wearing nice clothes and dressed conservatively about 3 men in khakis and sweaters and nice button-up shirts and about 2 women in dresses and skirts. This contrasted sharply with the democrat workers (only three) the election judge who was a flamboyantly dressed middle-aged Mexican man, and the two clerks, a black woman in safari/African styled clothes and a Vietnamese woman with a very heavy accent.

The black lady who was an election clerk, didn't know what she was doing and the line to vote was slow, because she had to ask the election judge what to do for every person who was trying to vote.
The other election clerk, the Vietnamese lady, wasn't much better. They kept asking each other if what they were doing was right. It was like the blind, leading the blind.
There was a very old lady who was trying to vote. She acted like she never voted before, she pulled the election judge aside and asked, "I don't have to SIGN the ballot?".

Of course, I noticed all these things, because I have been an election clerk several times, in both Texas and New Mexico. Plus, I am a people watcher and have the keen observation skills of a scientist. :-) I have been an election clerk for city elections, presidential primaries and presidential general elections. I think I have been a poll watcher once, but I can't remember for sure..... I worked the election when Ann Richards won governor, when Bill Clinton won for the first time, and when GW Bush won the second time. I have been to republican caucuses and served as a district and state delegate to the republican conventions.

I know elections.

Well, I had to find my own name in the book for the black lady, because she couldn't get my name right or either didn't know the alphabet. She kept randomly looking all over the page of BRO-- when my name is BRA--. The person before me in line, she said she couldn't find in the book, and she made that person fill out a special sheet for voters whose names weren't on the list but had valid voter's cards. I wonder..... she just probably was on the wrong page of the alphabet.....

The way it works at polls where there are multiple precincts, is there are tables with the ballots for each precinct. The law states that a poll worker cannot hand you a ballot. The voter has to select their own ballot from the pile on the table.

I went to my precinct's table and grabbed a ballot.

I went to the little voting station and voted for Clinton (see previous blog). Then I looked at the top of my ballot and it had the name of the precinct on the top that is NOT my precinct.

"GEEZE!" I thought. "No telling how many ballots are on the wrong tables! "

I called the election judge over. "Mr. Reyes! I need you over here."

He called a clerk over because they have to have a witness. I told him that MY PRECINCT's TABLE had the wrong ballots on it, and that I needed a new ballot and that my ballot that I had already written on was "spoiled".

He said "This is a spoiled ballot" I said, "Yes, I know. You need to go over there and check that table, because this ballot was on the wrong table." He said, "It probably got mixed up." I said, "Obviously. You still need to check." Then another problem came up when the old lady wanted to know where to sign her ballot.

I watched Mr. Reyes as he walked around the library getting something for the old lady and carrying around my spoiled ballot with him. I watched him. He had my ballot the whole time. I wondered what he was going to do with it.

When he came back by me, I grabbed his attention again and said, "I want to make sure you destroy that ballot." He got really dramatic then, and grabbed the spoiled ballot envelope and exaggerated his motions as he put the ballot in the envelope about 5 inches away from my face.

I said, "Thank you. I have been working on your side of the table many times. I know what you are to do with spoiled ballots. " Then he said, "Well, the difference is, I have been trained." and he pointed to his shirt that said "Election Judge" .

Then I said, "You need to check that ballot table."


All I could think about when I left was "I wonder how many other people voted with a wrong ballot for another precinct and had no idea, or didn't notice or know to ask?"


edit: 11:00PM
I wondered why all the crusty people were out voting. They were a crustier bunch then you even see in the grocery store. Why were these people so crusty? Why don't I see equal amounts of crust at the Kroger or Wal Mart? These were crustier than Wal Marters.
It was peculiar.



Heather said...

We both voted for H. Clinton too and experienced much of the same thing....at two different voting places. I fortunately did not take my voters registration card with me as Ron did and now has a big "Democrat" stamp on it.

Betty said...

Every once in a while one must rub elbows with crusty people. Remember: "Crusties are People too".
Just remember the I-35 & Mockingbird bridge in Dallas.

I wonder if you looked at their VRC (voter registration card) if they list their homes as:
1) Mission Arlington
2) Presbyterian Night Shelter
3) Meadowbrook Park bridge
4) 360 bridge next to I-30

Also, remember: Democrats care more. They feel their pain!

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