Monday, February 26, 2007

Poll Watching Tomorrow...

I remain underwhelmed by blogger's newest incarnation. But at least I have my links back, or some of 'em, anyway.

The election is tomorrow. I'll be running around as a "poll watcher," which basically means I will trying to be as helpful to the judges as they want me to be while not interfering in any way with the electoral process. Poll watchers, unlike Election Judges, get neither respect nor pay. And the worst poll watchers -- those who think their job is to challenge every voter who might not favor their candidate -- deserve neither. They can be chucked out at a moment's notice by any Judge irate or mean enough to do so. A good Poll Watcher helps, within reason, in any way he/she can by getting Judges sodas or water and also by helping them set up booths and so on.

Even that, though, is ticklish. After all, a Poll Watcher could presumably mess around with things. Above all, Poll Watchers shouldn't be caught dead handling ballots (other than their own vote, of course) or hanging around the voting machines. The job should ideally be one of complete boredom.

Alas, in our Ward, that often isn't the case. For instance, in years past we had a guy poll watching who "challenged" every vote from our house. Every one of our voters for the entire morning had been forced to go home (the voting precinct wasn't in our building in those 4707 N. Malden days) and get extra sets of I.D. (His contention is that we were shipping in homeless folk who were masquerading as Jesus People... a fascinating charge being made again this year despite equal amounts of non-evidence. Sheesh!) His actions were finally put to a stop by the Election Board, who sent someone over to put a stick in his spokes. The morning voters, despite being harassed by this chucklehead, had gone home and patiently retured to successfully vote. It did make me wonder how the poor in other areas of the city did, though. Shades of Bush and Florida?

So. There you are. A slice of political life in Chicago. WWJD, eh?

Let's hope this year's election is boring in all the right ways, that everyone gets to vote without harassment, and that those of us called "Shilleristas" by the opposition are in full, if quiet, celebration mode.

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