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.