Today I served as a non-partisan Chief Officer of Election at a precinct with about 3500 registered voters. I had served as a Chief at only one other election – our June primary where less than 300 voters cast ballots. Today, needless to say, was more demanding than a low profile primary.
But rather than fatigue, the word best used to describe my feeling is Goosebumps. Here are a few bullet points, since I lack the coherence to string together a more thoughtful reflection, about the Goosebump-inducing moments of today's experience:
- the large number of voters born in 1990, 1989 . . . first-time voters. What a historic moment for those new voters.
- the visit by a four-member delegation from Romania, here to observe how we ran the polling station. Talking with these leaders – who twenty years ago were on the cusp of overthrowing a communist dictatorship – was truly an honor and humbling experience.
- speaking Spanish about the privilege of voting with a Cuban-born US citizen who fled her country shortly after Castro seized power in a military cou d'etat. To see her anger about what happened in Cuba and her pride in voting as a US citizen . . . . simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring.
- nearly 600 absentee voters, approximately 2100 ballots cast on-site today – approx. 77% turnout. That turnout is so much better than usual . . .
- a line to vote forming at 5am, an hour before the polls opened. When we opened the polls at 6am, approximately 150 people were in line waiting to cast their ballot. (Oddly enough, we had about 1000 voters from 6am-10am, and only about 1000 from 10am-7pm. No evening rush! That is incredibly bizarre. Is there any reporting on that fact?)
- A bipartisan team of 14 officers – and several partisan poll watchers – and all worked together for the same goal of helping people to vote. Talk about putting Country First!
Goosebumps. And now it is time for a shower and some sleep. G'night