tl;dr? Here’s a pic with 1,000 words:
My Favorite Aunt, let’s call her FAL, tells of a Viva cousin who at the age of 7 or 8 looked at the TV programs scheduled for the week and declared that it was all ‘politickles.’ Ah! These missed pronunciations delivered with additional meaning must be genetic. Pronounciations!
Political? Politickle. Let’s go!
Working the Polls
I’ve wondered what it is like to work the
poles polls. And each election, if not now, then, when? When are you going to work the polls, Viva? So this year, I didn’t just cut bait, I fished. I attended the training and registered voters for the general election on Nov. 6, 2018. My report:
- Pre-gotta-get-me-to-work voters! Voting for two Wards was held in a facility with stacked ballrooms. By 7:15 AM the line was out the upstairs balloting ballroom, down the stairs, and curled around into the lower level ballroom. My compatriot reported this was more gettin’-up-mornin’ turnin’-out than she had seen in previous elections!
- Same day registration. Availability to register the same day should be a requirement of any voting system. At the site I worked, I don’t have statistics on the number of people who would have not been eligible to vote because their VOTER REGISTRATION HAD BEEN PURGED BETWEEN THE WISCONSIN PRIMARY ELECTION HELD APRIL 3, 2018 AND THE GENERAL ELECTION, NOVEMBER 6, 2018. But I held up my right hand and swore to work the polls and I will attest that the number was greater than or equal to four. And a couple of those good folks were OUTRAGED.
- Generations younger than mine SHOWED.UP. Boom! There it is. I am one. A late Baby Boomer. Out of the 50 or so voters I registered, only two were older than me with long-time residency. And so I wondered what brought YOU to the polls? Have you not voted before? But hey! You do you. Better late than never?
- Gravitas, I. Without exception, voters who needed to register same day SHOWED UP with PROOF of their right to cast their vote. Serious. They had checked the requirements. Residence, valid photo ID, and for many, multiple forms of both. Viva’s heart was warmed. This also made it hard to tell someone their proof, although following the spirit of the law, was insufficient in letter. See Gravitas, II.
- Gravitas, II. We are here to GET YOU REGISTERED. Kate worked next to me had worked the polls before. Her experience was golden. If you presented yourself to vote and you needed to register, without exception — we had folks hop on the internet and log on for utility/credit cards/valid account bills and we even sent a few good folks home for additional documentation. BUT YOU COUNT, WE ARE HERE TO GET YOU REGISTERED, AND GET YOUR BALLOT TO THE POLLS! And what a relief! The registration checklist makes you feel like a gatekeeper looking for fraud when you are not, and there isn’t any. More than once, Kate’s direction, encouragement, and flat-out problem-solving made me feel I had superpowers. We got ‘er done!
- Gravitas, III. The rigorousness in registration — a physical visible human presenting themselves as who they are and where they live — affected me election day. Registration is separate from actual balloting/voting and the checklist is not long, but when you’re the one who checks, it is easy to second and third guess whether or not you skipped a check. And this is where my obsessive-compulsive-repetitive disorder was a blessing and a curse. If you presented, I checked and rechecked and you were good to VOTE! Blessing. But. Hold on. Wait. Did I really check? Did the photo ID of the voter over an hour ago really look like them? Curses. Spam!
- Gravitas, IV. The whole of election day at the site I worked was rigorously run. The polls opened when the time on our ballot machine said ‘go.’ The polls closed when the ballot machine said ‘stop.’ And for the record, the ballot machine said ‘stop’ when internet-phone-time said there were still two more minutes and we had two people running up the stairs to vote when the proctor called ‘closed.’ Disappointment! And they pointed at their phone time, but to allow them to vote would invalidate the whole. Wowza! Gravitas closed.
Nancy’s got a brand new HOUSE!
Representative Nancy Pelosi (D- 12th district CA), is poised to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives January 3, 2019! Again! But! This time she will preside over a body that includes more diversity than ever before. And we are warmed.
A semblance of checks and balances is restored to the horse running wild in the White House in concert with the elephants preening in the Senate.
And in the whole brouhaha of whether Ms. Pelosi is the best suited to be Speaker, the best story I’ve tripped across was her response to a Republicant pushing for Social Security privatization legislation:
“Never. Is never good enough for you?”
Ah! Hearts, unicorns, and rainbows. Holes in the social safety net keep growing. Privatization would drop the remaining net to the floor and the predators would come out to feed.
I love my Millennials! They are great people and as a group, they get a bad rap. Proof? Here we go.
A Google search to find the percent of Millennials that actually.showed.up.and.voted, returns links to pre-election article lamentations on how many and why Millennials may vote. Election day, the media barking dogs couldn’t wait to call elections even as balloting horseplay was in motion and several elections weren’t decided for days. Oh, and there is a run-off in Mississippi tomorrow. Go Espy! But I digress.
Maybe my Google game is off, but two weeks after the election, a search for the Millennial vote turns up crickets. The media has moved on with the exception* of … TeenVogue!
TeenVogue: “An estimated 31% of eligible voters age 18 to 29 actually voted.” – Linley Sanders, November 10, 2018, 7:00 AM EST.
And we celebrate teenVOGUE! Writers like Lauren Duca and Linley Sanders are relatable, reliable voices that point to legitimate sources to back up their statements. In the search to see what the Millennial vote was, I tripped across a site called EliteDaily. Although it looked legit, further investigation dropped it in our metaphorical internet click-bait chum bucket. Viva will not be fishing there.
Click-bait is all the rage. In an effort to be first, many media outlets called races on election night while the number of uncounted ballots turned the winner around.
Example: In Wisconsin, Frood continued to monitor results after her mother
went to bed cried herself to sleep. This is how close the race was in the wee hours of the morning:
Whoa! At 11:40 CST, 2,759 ballots separate Walker and Evers. The drama continued. From Frood’s final screenshot:
By 1:40 AM CST, Evers lead Walker by 29,050! In two hours, Walker made a gain of 117, 571 votes; but Evers collected another 149,380! Enough that in the morning, Viva dried away her tears and celebrated with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Whew! EVERY.VOTE.COUNTS!
And so in jumping on the calling it early train, my pick for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination is Kamala Harris — Amy Klobuchar!
Two sharp, strong, capable women at the top. Why not? Isn’t it about time? And sharp, strong and capable seems redundant, but I am not afraid to be wrong. Buckle up!
“State the obvious. You’re hardly ever wrong” was a maxim my father invoked often. Note: You may sound like a simpleton, but conversation is simplified. So, I state with impunity that life goes on between elections.
And as we struggle a more perfect union, between now
and the 2020 elections or the next protest, I’m refreshing my civics education and upping my participation through indivisible.org. Consider this an invitation to join me!
The struggle is real.