(Though I'm not sure how many of you actually read this post on Friday. :) )
How has your week been? It's been busy here with this, that and the other.
Saturday wasn't too busy.
Sunday we had nearly everyone there! It was so delightful to see people. The twins and I talked over Christmas music and picked out three songs to try and I got to play with BabyDoll. :)
On Monday I went to my best friend's house and we created the back cover of TCR-1. I then was able to upload both the cover and the interior. I also heard back from my illustrator about TCR-2. She's hoping to get all the illustrations done by mid-December!
On Tuesday I was gone all day. But you can read all about it in today's story. And after I got home I ordered my proof copy of TCR-1!
Wednesday came and I had to get ready for Writing Classes. (Usually I try to get ready on Monday or Tuesday.) And then I had to teach the classes.
Yesterday I graded papers, worked on a baby quilt for someone, corrected my story to post today and had an SCA class.
Today we clean house and tonight we babysit.
Those of you who enjoy reading Dr. Morgan will be pleased to know that I've written 2 more parts of it. I also wrote the first 1,000 words of Triple Creek Ranch - 3! I'm trying to finish some stories that are already on NEO so that I have room for others. And for those of you who know about Travels of Priscilla and Friends, I've been trying to get that worked on too. If you don't know about it, stop by Travels of Priscilla and look around. There are still openings for several states, so if you'd like to "visit" a state with "Priscilla" just let me know. :) (It's all virtual and all you have to do is visit the web site of where we go and then write a letter to "Miss Smith" about your "visit." :)
A Day in the Life of an Election Judge
(Names have been changed to protect the bored.)
4:05 AM- Beep, beep, beep. The persistent noise slowly penetrated Tillie’s sleep-fogged brain. “Why doesn’t Sue just turn that thing off?” she wondered groggily. Suddenly something inside her seemed to snap to full alert. “Oh! That alarm’s for me!” Tillie quickly sat up and pushed off the covers. It was election morning and in less than an hour she had to be ready to leave for her polling place.
5:15 AM - Arriving at the school where she would be working as a supervisory judge for the day, Tillie sat in her friend’s car until someone let her in the building. Her friend was also working as an election judge in a nearby precinct and had kindly given Tillie a ride. Before long the door was opened by the custodian and Tillie, taking her bag inside, began the process of setting up.
The other workers arrived, Irene, Park, the newest member of this election team, and then Irish. With all pitching in to help, it didn’t take long to tape signs to the doors and walls, get the iPad turned on and ready, the opti-scan ready and get sworn in.
5:55 AM- Everything was set up and they waited until the polls opened at 6:00.
6:00 AM- The polls are open but no one was waiting. It may be a long day.
6:05 AM- The very first voter of the day arrived! It took only a moment to scan the barcode on the voter card and another for the ballot to be marked and slipped into the machine. Then the voter walked out wearing an “I voted” sticker.
6:15 AM- The cell phone which had been sent with the polling items, so Tillie and the rest of the judges could call the county office if needed, rang. Tillie picked it up. “Hello, this is such-and-such 4.”
“Oh, I wasn’t trying to call another precinct,” a man’s voice came over the phone. “I thought I was calling the county office. Something must have been programmed wrong.”
“I guess so. I don’t know if I can help you any, but what did you need?” Tillie asked, trying to be helpful.
“We were just wondering . . . Did you guys get a ‘Vote Here’ sign or a flag?”
“No. I just figured that they didn’t think we needed them this time,” Tillie replied.
“Okay. We just couldn’t find any.”
6:33 AM- The conversation going on mostly between Park and Irish had Tillie feeling amused. She agreed in a way with both sides of the issue, but didn’t want to get caught up in it, so she refrained from saying anything about “animals vs. people.”
6:48 AM- The topic of conversation switched to World War II and Irish did most of the talking. Having been in the military and served overseas at the end of the war, he could tell some interesting stories. Park read. Irene crocheted and Tillie knitted while they listened to Irish talk.
6:53 AM- Voter two arrived! Everyone was delighted.
7:11 AM- The first of the school children arrived. The draft from the opening door was chilly, but Tillie enjoyed greeting the younger ones with a smile.
7:21 AM- Voter three and more children arrived. Brr, that air was cold!
7:23 AM- When the 4th voter arrived, he was rather astonished that there hadn’t been more. All the judges agree that it would have been nice to have had more.
7:43 AM- The 5th voter! Yippee! Still more children came and every time the door opened the poll workers got the really cold air gusting in though it wasn’t that cold outside.
7:52 AM- Two voters came in a row!
8:03 AM- All the children had arrived at school now. There had been seven voters.
8:09 AM- Boy, was it quiet. All the children were in class and Tillie decided to eat her breakfast of . . .
8:13 AM- Wow! There was a sudden rush for the polls. Five people in a row came in.
8:33 AM- Three more voters.
9:29 AM- There were a few lines of very well behaved children waiting in the hall.
9:32 AM- 20th voter.
9:50 AM- The four election judges tried to recall what interesting conversations they have had that morning: Elephants (Did you know that elephants have amazing memories? Or that Irish’s granddaughter now works with elephants?) and the small world we live in. (Irene might have seen Park when she was a baby because Irene went to high school with Park’s aunt.)
10:00 AM- It was time for a special assembly! Even the news made it for the assembly this morning.
10:13 AM- Assembly was over and the children headed back to their classrooms in well behaved lines.
10:30 AM- Park passed out some dark chocolate. A delightful mid-morning snack. “Will it wake me up?” Tillie asked with a yawn.
11:21 AM- It had been quiet and dull. No one had even really been talking. Then #29 came in and voted.
11:27 AM- For the first time since the polls opened, Tillie decided to stand up! It sure feelt good to stand up and stretch.
11:35 AM- Tillie resumed her chair and waited for more voters. Will they have 30 votes before noon? Earlier, before the polls were opened, each of the workers took a guess on how many votes would be cast at their polling place. Irish had guessed 30.
11:53 AM- Voters 30 and 31 came in. Shortly before that, one of the bi-partisan teams had come by for a few minutes.
12:17 PM- Well, it was slow. Lunch was over, the children were back in classrooms and all the election judges wished they could take a nap. “You know,” Tillie laughed, “the one thing they didn’t tell us to bring was pillows.” “That’s right,” Irene agreed. “Perhaps we should just close up for a few hours,” Park joked. “Or we could put a ‘Gone Out. Be back at 4.’ sign on the door,” Tillie suggested.
12:26 PM- Had it only been ten minutes?
1:02 PM- Then the numbers went up to 37 voters. The judges talked about other countries that they had been to and things related to them. Park entertained the others with stories about her trip to Australia and New Zealand. Tillie told a little about her recent trip to Canada, and Irish mentioned Tahiti.
1:18 PM- Talk changed to the Joplin Tornado.
1:44 PM- There had been 40 votes now!
2:15 PM- 42 votes.
2:31 PM- “Can’t I sleep?” Tillie wondered to herself, wishing she could just stretch out and take a nap.
2:42 PM- The children all got a group picture with their new sweatshirts. The election judges couldn’t see the stage in the assembly room, but they watched them going in and coming out.
2:51 PM- The first batch of kids leave for home.
3:14 PM- Most of the children were gone. It was pretty quiet, gloomy and rainy.
3:34 PM- Voter 51 came in. One more vote and Park’s guess would be reached. Only 3 1/2 more hours.
4:15 PM- Voter number 57 had just come and gone.
4:18 PM- Park and Irene played word puzzles on their phones. Boy, was it quiet since all the children had gone! 2 hours 40 minutes left.
4:25 PM- Why won’t the minutes go faster? Irish was talking.
4:49 PM- Wow, seven people arrived. Nice. That’s the most they’ve had at once all day.
4:56 PM- The vote count was now up to 70 votes cast! Irene’s number was passed by ten.
5:16 PM- What to do now? Hurry up time. 73 votes. “You know, Tillie remarked, “if the seconds would go faster, then the minutes would too.” Park wished they could go by the old time. “We could just say they hadn’t changed their clocks yet,” she joked. “Or perhaps we could just put a “Gone Fishing” sign on the door,” Tillie offered.
5:23 PM- One hour and 35 minutes left.
5:33 PM- 77th voter.
5:43 PM- They’ve just had a rush! Now they are up to 83 votes. Tillie’s guess was only two away. “If you guess the number exact, I’ll take you to Vegas,” Irish told Tillie.
5:47 PM- 87 now. Two votes past Tillie’s guess, so no trip to Vegas. She didn’t want to go anyway.
5:55 PM- Only 65 more minutes - tick-tick-tick . . . The four election workers had quite a discussion about working as an election worker, what other polling places they’ve worked at had been like and several things that could be done to improve a day at the polls or the training to be an election worker.
6:33 PM- 100th voter! No one was sure they’d have that many. The voter was pretty pleased to be the 100th one.
6:36 PM- Two more voters.
6:41 PM- Made sure the “book” was filled out. Everyone wanted to be sure to get paid for sitting around counting down the hours until time to leave.
6:48 PM- 12 minutes left! Was anyone else coming? Plans of action for packing up were discussed.
6:51 PM- One more person came in with his two boys. “They told me there was voting at their school,” Dad told the workers. Tillie made sure each of the boys got an “I voted” sticker since they made sure Dad came to vote.
6:58 PM- Two more minutes.
7:00 PM- The polls were closed! Quickly the signs were taken down, pens were collected, ballots removed and the iPad shut down. With everyone working together it only took fifteen minutes to pack up. Another election was over. Irish and Tillie loaded things up to drive to the courthouse. The long day of boredom was nearly done.
What do you think?
Do you want to be an Election Judge?
(Busier elections are a lot more fun and crazy.)