Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Guestpost: Scenes From A Polling Place (Part II)

[Ed.'s note: the second entry from a guestblogger in the field yesterday:]

So do you ever wonder who works in a polling place? I mean, besides your (see part 1) responsible over achieving political nerds? Well, today I am supervising three ladies, lets call them A, B, and C. A showed up before me, and was starting to freak out cause I was 5 minutes late (it was 6:05am lady, cut me some slack. State workers go to work around 9am…if!). B came in around 6:30, but she’s a pretty smart and organized person too. Both are in their later 40’s early 50’s, bookish looking, and not first timers like me.

C is somewhat of a different story. Unlike those of us who aren’t doing this for the money, she probably is. In fact, she lives in the apartment complex adjacent to where we are currently located (off Broadway and 5th for those of you familiar with Sac). Since her arrival this morning her diet has consisted of a steady stream of junk food to the tune of donuts, vending machine snacks, candy, Taco Bell for lunch, and multiple cans of soda. Right now she’s offering me Starbursts…earlier she was wandering around here complaining about gas cramps…I almost felt like saying something about her diet.

So that Asian guy finally left, I guess his doctor’s appointment couldn’t wait anymore. Either that or the rejection was getting to him. Special shout out to my girlfriend too, for bringing me lunch, and walking in here all sassy and pretty like and making my precinct coordinator guy jealous.

C also steps outside to smoke every half hour. Her personal story is about as fascinating as her diet, apparently she’s been married for 20 years, but she and her husband live in separate apartments in the same complex. Why, do you ask? Well, her husband lives with his ex-wife, because apparently she can’t do anything to support herself.

To the tune of general voter apathy - I’m not surprised by the lack of turnout, it’s a special with one office on the ballot. Neither am I surprised by the significant turnout of Asian voters (Matsui pull if I read it right). Nor am I surprised at the lack of young people here today. What did surprise me was the statistic I heard on NPR, that CD 5 in Sacramento has turned over twice in the past 50 years…holy crap! You’d think that more people would turn out for a seat that is so infrequently contested.

- Guestblogger R.I.

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