I... Election Inspector!

blogShaun ManningComment

Yesterday, I served as an election inspector in Michigan's primary. It's a fascinating experience and I'm still processing everything, but I wanted to share a few initial thoughts. 

It's a long day -- you show up at 6am, we finished at 10:45 PM -- but it's never boring. The precinct I worked saw about 20% in-person turnout, and I know there were a lot of absentee ballots. 20% isn't great in absolute terms, but it's not at all bad for a primary and is high for a precinct with a significant number of graduate students who may still be out of town for the summer.

My team was short staffed, as two people who had signed up to work didn't show -- apparently this is a misdemeanor! Other than the precinct chair, the other two of us were doing this for the first time. Yet everything (or nearly everything) went smoothly. We had a great team.

There was one voter whom workers from the other precinct voting in the same room had accidentally sent to an entirely different location. He eventually made his way back, still all smiles, determined to vote. "I'm young, I'm healthy," he said, "I just had to make sure I voted."

If you write in, say, "Batman," you are creating a surprising amount of work for people trying to go home at the end of a 17-hour workday.

I am not the only person who is offended by Michigan's "Application to Vote" paperwork. But I could not say much of anything about this to people who were upset by it because, as it turns out, voting regs constitute "political discussion." I was very careful about this.

If you think you'd be interested in working the polls -- this is a paid position, but it doesn't pay a ton -- let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to be a resource. They need good people, especially if you are a registered Republican in a heavily Democratic area, or vice versa.

TL;DR thank you Michigan for not voting for Shri