What Do YOU Do For Your Country??

I want to start with saying this post isn’t about politics!!

Yesterday in 2015 was when I took my Citizenship test. I passed and was given a date for my Citizenship Ceremony.

October 8th was when I took the Oath of Allegiance and became a Citizen. I also registered to vote.

A large part of my decision to become a Citizen was to have the PRIVILEGE of being able to vote. I’m sad to say it’s a privilege many of us don’t appreciate and don’t use. This kind of breaks my heart. Men and women have fought and sacrificed for the right we cast aside so thoughtlessly. There was a time when only the highest in the land had the vote. Through determination and bravery, the right to vote was eventually secured for all citizens on reaching adulthood.

So many people fought tirelessly for this. It’s only 100 years since women had the right to vote and yet in that space of time well, we’ve become apathetic. We don’t appreciate what is a formidable right to choose who serve us.

As well as registering to vote, I wanted to go one step further. I’m very proud of and grateful for my Citizenship and I wanted to give back to the community – so I registered to become an election inspector.

I inspected at my first election in November of 2015 when I hadn’t even been an American for a month! By November of this year I will have voted in and inspected at eleven primaries, local, state and presidential elections.

I renewed my annual re-training and oath as an inspector yesterday afternoon.

November 2015 was the first election I inspected at – less than a month after becoming a citizen.

Have you ever voted? Have you ever given a moments thought into the whole process? I thought I’d explain it a little in the hopes some of you might join me!

Here in the US, Election Inspectors have to participate in training annually. You complete the training, take a short multiple choice test and swear under oath to State and Country to uphold the election process.

On Election Day, door’s are open from 6am to 9pm. Election Inspectors have to be there at 5:15am to set up. This involves checking ballot books, other paperwork, starting up voting machines, running them to check their set to zero etc.

It also involves setting up tables and booths. Putting up posters and sample ballots. Placing signs outside etc. It’s a very busy 45 minutes and it’s often made busier by people not showing up or being late.

There’s no denying it’s a very long day. There are no breaks and we can’t leave the polling station. There must be an equal amount of Democrat and Republican Election Inspectors present. We can take a quick trip to the loo but that’s it.

Whilst I’m grateful to see every voter who comes through the door there are those who I’m even more grateful to see depart! People fail to check if they are registered to vote. They fail to check which party they are registered to. They don’t change their address or they fail to confirm it. Naturally ALL of this is MY fault! Yes Mr Pissypants. I personally colluded with the Russians to register you as a Republican. Get over it and then call the Board of Elections!

The doors close promptly at 9pm. No one is admitted after this time but anyone present can obviously complete their voting.

During the 2016 Presidential Election we had a particular gobshite bring an elderly woman in a nightdress in at 8:50pm and then leave her there in her wheelchair. She was confused and tired and couldn’t even manage her wheelchair but we had to let her vote.

Here’s the thing, we can’t physically assist with voting. Between the hours when the polls are open an inspector can not touch a completed ballot form. We can help with advice if asked but only in extreme cases can we touch a ballot and then only if there are both a Republican and a Democrat Inspector with the voter. We eventually managed to assist by having an inspector from each party present at her side but that was a last resort.

There are facilities for people with all disabilities to vote in person. There are even breathing vote apparatus supplied. Honestly though, no one ever has used it in an election I’ve inspected at. I think people must make use of absentee ballots in that scenario. Anyway, Jackass turned back to pick her up at 9:20pm. He had a grievance with the town so he took it out on us.

We then had to scan all the write in votes and close the polls. The results had to be read out to the collected viewers and we had to all sign the chain of evidence for the bag to be taken to the courier (deputy) who had to sign for it and deliver it to the Board of Elections. We eventually got out of there at 10:30pm. After being there from 5:15am ..that was a heroic day.

Was I knackered? Absolutely! I was so tired and sore I could hardly move! The feeling of satisfaction made it all worth it.

I. Me. A citizen of 27 days at my first election ..I’m a part of what makes this country so fabulous and I’m so proud of that!! We get to vote. We get to decide who is or isn’t elected. We Have That Right!! I’ve been a part of history being made. I was a part of the election for the 45th President Of The United States. If you voted so were you!

Nothing would make me happier than to see any one of you decide to be an Election Inspector. If I can answer any questions you ha e I shall do do with pleasure. Even if you can’t give your time please vote. Vote for whoever you like.

Vote against whoever you dislike most if there’s no one you like! That’s what I do! Write in a candidate – just please vote.

60 thoughts on “What Do YOU Do For Your Country??

  1. Bravo! I take voting very seriously and rail against every friend and/or relative who can’t be bothered….. but will complain at every given opportunity. Nope! Don’t want to hear it. If you’re not part of the process… you’re part of the problem. My father was 10 when he came here from England, my mother was first generation American of her Austrian family. They understood how a democracy works and instilled the respect in me. I want my voice heard!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Amen!!!!! I remind myself all the time that not only “the highest in the land” could vote, but also the fact that women could not vote, worse yet a black woman and that is why I exercise my right to do so at every election, not only presidential. I also vote at Town Hall and PTA elections. We all have a voice and we should use it.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain is my motto.

    Sadly, what more and more people want is a dictatorship, with their particular brand of “favorite” as the dictator. They don’t vote but will riot and “protest” at the drop of a hat. And since there aren’t any “new frontiers”, I can’t even go anywhere else 😦

    Congrats on doing such a thankless job! Keep up the good work…

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Well done you.
    I agree people should take part in the democratic process. People say, oh one vote doesn’t matter, but it does. In the last UK elections there were quite a few seats where they had to recount several times. It has been known that they have to draw lots for the winner. One vote can matter.
    Some people prefer to moan rather than take part. Like that ever makes a difference.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. First of all, congratulations on your citizenship!! Secondly, I agree with you completely! I have friends that don’t vote, & it infuriates me. I tell them they don’t have the right to complain about whomever is in office!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Because I moved recently, and I was re-doing my license in another state, I had to register to vote anew. They asked me if I wanted to volunteer. Is the Inspector a voluntary gig, or do you get paid? I said “no”, but it’s because I work, and I’m not sure if I could make both worlds co-exist. My dad was an Inspector before, and he thought it was the greatest. Definitely exhausting, but he was proud.

    Why would it matter which party they are registered as?

    You had me in stitches with the Russia collusion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As to party registration – no it doesn’t matter. They just need an equal amount. One Democrat Inspector for each Republican. It doesn’t matter who you are registered as, you can vote for whoever you like EXCEPT in the primaries where you can only vote for candidates for the party you are register to obviously. Surprisingly few people vote in primaries though, the polls for a primary are only open from 12pm to 9pm as a result.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for your time and effort as an inspector! And thank you for this post! On my 18th birthday, one of my teachers handed me a voter registration form. I filled it out and have been a registered voter ever since. I’m with you, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE! I drag both my adult daughters to the polls with me. With absentee ballots, it couldn’t be easier. There’s no excuse NOT to vote!
    Now if we could just get rid of the electoral college…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so important! So many are quick to complain and yet, when I asked whether they voted, the admit they did not because “their vote doesn’t matter.” Of all democratic nations, the US has the lowest voter turnout, by far. (Only ~30% of eligible voters actually vote!) I personally have a bit of an aversion to politics but I *always* vote and (like gum stuck to the bottom of a show) I frequently tag along with my very politically-involved boyfriend in supporting local candidates in in their campaigns. Though perhaps a minimal contribution, if every American citizen made the same small efforts, our country would be a very different, and likely better, place. I truly hope your post inspires even one person to become more involved!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great post and taught me about something I knew nothing about. All learned from a knackered Brit-turned-U.S. Citizen. Kudos to you for doing the training, volunteering, and educating a bunch of us about a fundamental part of our system. I’m going to share your post on my FB page. Thanks, Britchy!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. wow..I knew its a whole system lol but I never been interested to study it that deep (as well as politics), but I do vote. For 2 countries actually, haha
    9 September we’ll vote in Sweden – the parties/ parlament

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good for you! Last election I volunteered to drive people to the polls who needed a ride. I will do so again this November. My dad was an elections inspector and used to spend every election day at the polls. I am sure there would be no Russians interfering on his watch!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We had elections, about almost two months ago, I voted for the third time, and sometimes I get the feeling that voting is no more important than placing a X on a piece of paper and flushing it down the drain….. because the system is most definitely your friend…..
    But still I can say I did my civic duty than someone who complains loudly about the politics of the land and yet they never vote, maybe their vote is the one that would have changed the world but they chose not to ………

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations! We need more of you in this country.

    Here’s a little secret when it comes to voting; The politicians do not want you to vote if you are the type to ask questions.

    My Grandfather was a straight ticket Democrat. In other words you could have been the devil but if you were a Devil Democrat you got his vote. That is the kind of voter a politician wants and that is why we do not push all that hard when it comes to voting.

    Yes, kind of sad.

    On the plus side I have educated my daughters on the power of voting. My oldest will be 18 when Trump is up for re-election. She’s counting the days.

    Great blog you have there. Can’t wait to read more!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad to hear your daughter will vote, as an inspector I can tell you very few young people do. That saddens me. I couldn’t wait to vote. I’ve cross voted all my life and will continue to do so. People need to remember that’s possible I think!

      Liked by 1 person

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