Much like the politicians who are running for the elections I will be a judge for, I’m doing it for the money.
I showed up the a suburban library to get a once over of the basic information that involves being an election judge. It was given in a combination Powerpoint fueled verbal presentation, a bound packet, and an interactive dry run of our duties. It started at 10 am, not an ungodly early time of day so I went in rested and somewhere between optimistic and pessimistic.
I was clearly the only person under the age of 50 in the room. I noticed this by both sight and smell. Old man stink for days. The first half hour could have easily been confused for the senior citizen throat clearing Olympics. The guy to my left took home the gold in that regard.
However, the two very nice, very proficient women in charge of the presentation stuffed my pessimism in a sack mister. They knew what they were talking about, were not dependent on the Powerpoint slides, answered every question asked without skipping a beat, and gave us a bathroom break at the exact right moment. Kudos to you ladies.
Besides the knowledge that the state of Illinois was hiring smart, savvy, experienced people to train those at the local election level, I was impressed by the infrastructure of fail safes, paper trails, and laws to attempt to prevent voting shennanigans. I certainly can’t speak for states with electronic voting machines from the Diebold corporation, because Illinois uses paper ballets that are first verified by two sets of eyes, then a computer, then rechecked by multiple sets of eyes before being mailed in sealed containers, before they are electronically scanned, then checked by multiple sets of eyes again to verify authenticity of individual voter and election result.
The process of checking to make sure everything on the level at a polling place in Illinois is very much like the organizational structure of a casino. We were done by 1 pm. We have the option of taking additional online proficiency exams and training, for extra pay in return for that extra work. If only the government itself had competent people like the ones I encountered today, in office. If only the government operated with a little more time efficiency and a little less old man throat clearing. If only the agencies and social safety nets had logical infrastructure in place like ones I learned about today. If those things were so, maybe voter turnout would equal or be higher than that of American Idol.
Now, which one of you assholes stole my tumbler while I was in bathroom after class ended?