Boardworker 101

Voting is a civic duty that I have exercised most times during my adult life.  Most of the time, I vote for the party with which I grew up, the Democratic party.  My parents, products of Italian immigrants, depression survivors, held Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his colleagues in high esteem.  As a result, my parents always voted the Democratic ticket.  Coming of voting age when the great orator and statesman, Adlai Stevenson, ran for president, I followed suit and voted the Democratic ticket.  I’ve pretty much continued to do so in spite of the fact that I do not believe in abortion or in gay marriage, often planks in the platform of Democratic candidates.  I try to look at the whole picture.  At a time in the United States when the poor and middle class seem to be loosing ground, I continue, not only to vote Democratic, but to financially support the party.  That does not mean that I always like the candidates for whom I vote.  In those cases, I vote for the quisi-philosophy for which the party traditionally stands.  Sometimes I am really torn between a Republican candidate whom I respect and the Democratic principles which have been a part of my life for so long.  Recently, however, that has not been a serious problem.  Presently, I do not respect even one candidate offered by the Republican party.  Much of the above deserves further explanation which I will reserve for another time. 

Although I consider voting a sacred civic duty, I’ve never done anything more than vote on Election Day.  This year, however, I am going to be a boardworker.  That is, I will be one of those people who sit behind the big registration books, who looking very serious, ask your name and address, repeat your name and address, make you sign the book and an authorization card and direct you to the voting booth. That is of course, if your signature and your address match what is in the registration book.  If not, the would be voter must fill our a provisional ballot.  The boardworker is helped in unusual cases by a judge and/or an inspector.  I sincerely hope that there will not be any unusual voters. 

In the one evening of training for this position, we also had to learn how to set up the voting booth.  Although I intend to go over all of the instructions, I sincerely hope that someone other than myself will be in charge of the voting booth.  As I told a fellow trainee, “I think that I am mechanically challenged.”  At any rate, I will be at the polling place that I have been assigned at 5:15 A.M. on November 8.  I will hope and pray for the best.  It is nice to think that even in one’s seventh decade, one is considered useful.

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