Election Day: Doing my civic duty…

One Good Thing…

It’s time for the weekly  post of a feature I’ve chosen to title “One Good Thing.” Each weekend, I’ll post something about what has been good to—or for—me during the week.

Unknown.jpegAfter getting home after our long, long 17-day trip this past Sunday night, I had a day to recuperate and unpack and do all of those things one does after being away from home for such a long time. I knew I had to get some much-needed sleep because Tuesday was going to be an endless day working as an election judge right here in our little town.

This would be my third stint as an election judge, but I had never worked a presidential primary before. Fortunately, the polling place was a mere 200 yards from our driveway, so I didn’t have to travel very far to be there by the 5:00 a.m. start.

The actual duties of an election judge aren’t too difficult, but the setting up and closing down procedures require a somewhat vast knowledge base. As such, there are usually one or two experienced folks who have served as election judges previously and could make things start out smoothly, but this time we were sort of lacking on a deep experience base.

We were kind of feeling our way along from the very beginning, but we managed to open the polling place right on time at 6:00 a.m., even though we seemed to be flying by the seat of our pants for a while.

Everyone anticipated a good voter turnout with the election being an important presidential primary, and that prediction held true to form. From the beginning, we seemed to have a steady flow of voters, which was good because it seemed to move the time along more quickly.

All too often I find myself taking for granted the little processes that make our country the great one that it is, like our right to vote. Working as an election judge has shown me just how beautiful our Constitutional process is. Yet I’m always disappointed at the end of the election day when I see the vast number of people who didn’t show up to vote–one way or another.

We all moan and groan for one reason or another, and yet so many fail to exercise their privilege to cast a ballot—to have a voice in the whole matter—and it never fails to make me wonder why that is. I’m certain there are many reasons people don’t make the effort to get out to vote, but it’s still rather saddening that they waste this very precious right and freedom we enjoy in the greatest nation in the world.images.png

During the day, I had the opportunity to work with new folks that I’d never known previously (mostly much younger than I), and it was a great experience. We had a few problems with counts and getting things to match up exactly from time to time, making for a much longer time on the job following the poll closings, but we managed.

When we synced things up late in the evening, we were able to head for home around 10:30. A torrential downpour with lightning all about had begun shortly before, and I was happy that I lived so close since another drive of any respect would not be in the cards on this night.

images.jpegYeah, it was a very long day, and I will be compensated a bit for my time served as an election judge, but there is so much more to the whole thing then merely earning a $130 check for the day. In some small way, in our very small town, I believe I’m actually helping to move the process of our Constitutional way of life along here. At least I hope so!

Until next time, that’s one good thing…

 

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8 thoughts on “Election Day: Doing my civic duty…

  1. In the larger scheme of things, your decision to be an election judge may have been a little thing but to quote Arthur Conan Doyle, “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

    1. Thanks, Carolfromthecove! Anyone who quotes A. Conan Doyle must be pretty wise. I totally agree with his assessment of what those “little things” totally add up to. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Eric. Your point is well taken. Although last week’s turnout was excellent, the number of unvoted ballots was even greater–and that’s in our very small town! Voter apathy will do us in once again if we’re not careful. We’re leaving the door open for more of the same! 🙂

  2. Hi Mark,

    I agree when you say that people take voting for granted. I’m from Brazil, where voting is compulsory, so there are millions who don’t think much about who they are voting. If you take a look at what’s happening in Brazil’s politics right now you’ll see the result of it. Sad…

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