P(o)lling for the future



Seniors worked at the polls on November 3 through a program called Youth at the Booth. It is intended to inspire young adults to become politically involved. Here is a secrecy booth set up at a polling location.

Elizabeth Rickert, Print Editor-in-Chief

I didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to work the polls. Would I sit with a bunch of old ladies bored out of my mind? Would I even make a difference?
The process for working began with a training session, it was four hours long and consisted of a lot of waiting. This was mostly due to Hamilton County testing out electronic voting, experienced workers were struggling just as much as the newbies if not more.
Not to sound rude but the older people just did not understand iPads. They took several minutes to grasp concepts I thought were second nature. So yes, that was frustrating but it was four hours that you were getting paid for.
Did I mention you get paid? It’s not much but working for 20 hours adds up. And its more then you would get for being in school.
The next commitment is set up Monday evening. It took my crew of four roughly an hour and a half. Beware, it’s a lot more physical labor then you expect especially because we’re young.
When the day actually rolled around, I got up at five in the morning, pulled up to Twin Lakes Retirement home at six, and didn’t leave until ten in the evening. It was a long day. It shouldn’t have been tough.
With the transition to electronic voting, several precincts were turning people away. They just didn’t know what to do. Therefore, the Board of Elections determined that in order to give a fair opportunity for everyone to vote, they needed locations to stay open until nine.
That’s an extra hour and a half.
My entire day was really very good, I had a great time, but that extra hour and a half was brutal. The Board of Elections didn’t call until three minutes to close which only added to the frustration.
Besides that, I had a neat experience. I registered voters, passed out stickers, and assisted some of the elderly with their voting.
That was probably the most enlightening, people are so uninformed. I was allowed, with a worker of another party, to explain some of the legislation to the voters. However, it was hard to do that in basic, unbiased terminology.
It didn’t help that my precinct was at a retirement home. Several of the voters merely used voting as a thing to do. Which is fine, I get it, when I’m old I too will use voting as an activity. It still terrified me that several of these people just filled in random boxes.
Not everyone is going to have a great experience the precinct and who you work with make a huge difference. I had a slow precinct with happy people and great coworkers I was able to get some homework done and be paid. I had a great time and would recommend it to anyone.