Wednesday, June 6, 2012
A Day at the Polls
I worked ward 278 at Whitman School on the south side of Milwaukee. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. My grandson Dominic joined me as an election inspector. It was his first time also.
I met Lynn the chief inspector shortly before our 6:30am start time to help transform the gym at Whitman into a voting paradise. My first duty was to register voters. Lynn was wise in that she teamed with Debra who was experience. As we sat together, we went over the handbook to quiz each other on what forms of ID were acceptable and what process would work best for us. It went quite smooth with the only glitch being a lady whose business transposed two digits of her address on her check. She never noticed, but I did when going over her form. Thankfully she had another ID to show her correct address. Calls were made to ensure we lawfully followed directions with the key being we wanted her to vote.
I was surprised by how many voters gave us their photo ID's. I just looked at them quickly but made them say their address, explaining that I have to ask them. All were very cooperative.
The most difficult situation came when people came to our polling place and because of redistricting were not on our books and we had to direct them to other polling locations even though they had voted at Whitman in the past. A few people came with the wrong ID's and we instructed them to what forms were acceptable and all left and came back with the right ones.
All in all it was a great time. Out of 770 registered voters we had 600 people vote and that included about 60 new registrants. We closed the polling place down by 8:30 so Dominic and I put in a healthy 14 hours.
It's my understanding that most of the long lines were caused by new voter registrations. I do have a solution which I hope the State Legislature acts on. Eliminate same day voter registration. I heard Sue Edman mention on the radio that we are one of seven states to allow same day registration. I know if this were attempted calls of voter suppression would ring out from the left. One caller on WMCS 1290am was great this afternoon as he supported eliminating same day registration stating that if people were that interested in voting they'd get off their butts and make an effort to be informed and that included registering early.
Also the Photo ID will eliminate lots of potential problems.