Monday, February 11, 2008

Primary Elections in Virginia

Tomorrow I'll work the polls in Virginia. I am a poll worker in my home precinct of Adria, in the Northern District of Tazewell County.

So I'll get up at about 4:15am to be at the polling place about a mile away by 5am.

I think I have everything together for tomorrow. My clothes are ironed (a nice deep blue shirt to wear with my suit). The alarm is set. I have a few things to take with me to work on if the traffic gets slow. My lunch is made. I have a can of Pringles, some bread and cheese, and a couple of bottles of water in a cooler.

I'll get to vote after we set up the polling booths and open up, since I'm working in my own precinct. John Edwards will still be on the ballot. he drew 10% of the vote in Oklahoma on SuperTuesday despite having dropped out a week earlier. I don't really car whether Obama or Clinton gets the Democratic nomination. I'll probably cast my ballot for Edwards.

The biggest tension tomorrow will probably be over the procedure that requires voters to declare whether they want to vote in the GOP primary or the Democratic primary when they present themselves. The two are separate events (taking place at the same locations on the same day, true), and the worker who checks identification and marks voters off will give them a card that tells the people who's managing the voting machines which ballot to load - the GOP or the Democratic one. We expect some voters to object to having to declare their party...

Voting stops at 7pm. It will take between an hour and 90 minutes to wrap up the paperwork and break down the machines (assuming all goes well). I should be home by 9pm, making it a 16 hour day.

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