For the first time in 30 years, I will not be a poll worker tomorrow.

During the Clinton era, I became a poll worker. I wanted to get involved in a neutral way to help with politics and helping people vote. For the last several elections, I’ve been a provisional judge. That means, if you aren’t in the register, I provide a way for you to cast a ballot that will be reviewed by the county clerk and determined if you were an eligible voter. If you were eligible your vote will be counted and if not, it will be discarded (Please, don’t ask how they do that on the computer when it’s supposed to be a secret ballot)

In 2016, every registered voter in Salt Lake County, UT was mailed a ballot and the thought was that the in person polling places weren’t going to be needed on Election Day. If you wanted to do in person voting, early voting was available so the county clerk figured that Election Day would be pretty slow.

Well, it wasn’t! I was on my feet for 14 hours and it was crazy. I barely got two chances to pee. I had no time for a lunch break and I about broke when I had 2 of the provisional voters tell me that they had been sent from another polling location because the provisional line had been too long.

I suggested to my poll location manager that we implement ADA guidelines for lines similar to those of Salt Lake FanX. We set up a seating area for those who didn’t have the ability to stand in line and gave the person who was in line ahead of them a name card to give to the line control person when they got to the front, the line control person would then call the name for the voter who was waiting in the seated area.

I processed over 300 provisional ballots and got called lots of names and explained the rules more than 300 times.

Two years ago, I was also a provisional judge and had a woman mark that she was not a US citizen but demand a ballot anyway (medical marijuana was on the ballot so it was as crazy as the presidential election). Thank goodness for the man with his new citizenship papers that told her since she’s been in the US since the mid-70’s she has no excuse for not going through the process to get her citizenship. After all, he did it. I’m so glad she left instead of demanding I give her a provisional ballot.

So tomorrow, I have some important meetings at work. I really don’t have the energy to put up with the abuse that will be levied at the poll workers tomorrow. I have put up with enough craziness in 2020, I did not need to set myself up for any more. I went and voted early (wasn’t going to take the chance on a signature not matching on a mail in ballot). During early voting, I questioned my decision but the more I think about it. It’s the best choice.

See you again at the polls in 2022, I’ll be behind the desk again.

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