This weekend I had an opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I completed a training course to be a county precinct worker. The time committment for precinct workers during daytime hours is substantial on election days, and was not really practical when I had an office job. I had this on my list of “things to do when I retire.” Now that my schedule has opened up, however, I’m able to take advantage of more opportunities.
Even though the lines are sometimes long and the voters often grumpy, it seems these polling place workers always manage to stay positive and get everyone in and back on the road in a brighter mood. I have always had so much respect for our local precinct workers at the polling places on election day, who receive a very small stipend (less than minimum wage) but always seem so enthusiastic about helping others perform the basic civic duty of voting in local elections. They’ve given me a lot to live up to, and I hope I’m up to it. We’ll soon see.
Speaking of local elections and polling places, did you know that the fourth Tuesday in September each year is National Voter Registration Day in the United States? According to the website:
Every year millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. National Voter Registration Day wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote. On Tuesday September 24, 2019 volunteers and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” in a single day of coordinated ﬁeld, technology and media efforts. National Voter Registration Day seeks to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.
If you are a citizen of the US, and you’re not sure if you’re registered to vote (under your current legal name at your current legal address), Vote411.org can help you get the information you need in time to vote in your next election. If you won’t be able to make it to your polling place on election day, the Federal Voting Assistance Program can help you find the information you need to obtain an absentee ballot in your county. If you are interested in becoming a precinct worker, the US Election Assistance Commission has some good information about where to start.
See you at the polls!