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View Diary: How to Repair the Voting System: Sec. Debra Bowen's Answer (302 comments)

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  •  True, and there's one way to help that (31+ / 0-)

    Polling places need more young people as poll workers.  I found when I volunteered that it was easier for me to quickly read the forms and registration rolls than the other poll workers who were mostly retirees. - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 08:43:27 PM PST

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    •  Yes, Yes, YES! (24+ / 0-)

      I'm elderly - I'm the same freaking age as Madonna - and I am consistently the youngest person in the room when the polls open. This year I was stuck with three rejects from the road show version of "The Golden Girls" and I spent most of the day grinding my teeth as an 85-year-old lady feebly pawed through the voter book constantly passing the voter's name, then flipping back too far, then forgetting the voter's name and having them ask to spell it again.

      These are paid volunteer positions, people. They're just as necessary as phone banking, because you're the front line in enforcing election law. Please, we need younger, smarter people volunteering for these positions.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:19:06 AM PST

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      •  54 is a far distance from elderly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, wu ming

        Thing is, most "younger/smarter" folks like yourself? They have day jobs if they're lucky. That's why you get those "golden girl rejects" you're grinding your teeth over...

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:31:21 AM PST

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      •  Yep, I had to lean in and find my name upside down (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, highacidity, trumpeter

        in order to help out the elderly volunteer who couldn't, for the life of him, locate it right in front of his eyes and kept misrepeating my last name out loud despite two clear corrections.  

        I love our seniors but 'casting is everything' as they say in Hollywood, and people who are sensorily or cognitively a bit handicapped should not be doing this important volunteer work if their handicaps cause a bottleneck.  

        •  I have always had to do that with the older gals. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I really don't mind.  They are being selfless.  But we do need faster ways to process voters.  Longer than a few minutes is not acceptable.

          GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

          by 88kathy on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:01:14 AM PST

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      •  I don't understand why in this day and age (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caryltoo, mkoz, highacidity

        they're still using paper rolls. Give them laptops (they could be the cheapest ones available, they won't need much horsepower) or heck, even iPads. When they ask your name, they type it in and it immediately locates you. No more thumbing through binders full of men and women (heh, just had to get that in there). Sign on those touchscreen thingys like stores have for your credit card. Think of all the paper that would be saved.

        Yes, I understand that the older people who generally work the polls and technology don't mix, but they could design the system to be idiot proof, and worst comes to worst, they can call in the 7 year old computer expert down the street ;)

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:00:27 AM PST

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        •  There's one problem with this that I see -- those (0+ / 0-)

          pads you sign at the grocery store don't really read your signature -- you can sign pretty much anything and it will accept it. And while I know that in-person voter fraud is extremely rare, the fact that there's no one verifying that the signatures are at least close would freak out the CT voter fraud crowd.

          •  Is anyone verifying the signatures now? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity, CaliSista, BYw

            If they wanted verification, the signature would show up on the screen for the worker to check.

            "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

            by yg17 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:38:01 AM PST

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            •  Not in LA County. I believe the registrar's (0+ / 0-)

              office may do some sort of random checking after the fact but the poll worker has no way of comparing one squiggle against the next. Having said that, I don't think computer screens are the answer. You would still need younger people who would likely be less intimidated by such a system and you would introduce the possibility of electronic glitches. If you were able to get younger people, then the original problem mentioned above would already be solved. LA County has had some success with allowing high school students to serve as poll workers. In the elections I've worked, I've never had a problem with any of the students. They also allow some County workers to spend the day as a poll worker instead of reporting to their normal job site.

              People can already go online to check their registration status but most of the ones with problems don't bother. On Tuesday, the biggest problem I had were people who claimed they didn't receive a vote by mail ballot when the roster indicated they had. Those individuals had to vote provisionally.

              "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

              by CaliSista on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:52:48 PM PST

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        •  Tablet-based voting rolls in Montgomery County MD (0+ / 0-)

          Can't comment on the rest of the country but here in the DC suburb of Silver Spring all the people at the table had what looked like a type of stylus based tablet. All I had to do was spell my last name - click. I was asked for my first name - click. I was asked for my birthday - click, done.

          If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
          If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
          If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

          by A Gutin Daf on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:54:59 AM PST

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        •  In one way this is where Voter ID could actually (0+ / 0-)

          be useful. Hand your ID to the poll worker, they check the picture, swipe it or scan it, and you're done.

          Would be interesting to see if we can use the reactionaries' voter suppression plans against them by actually making voting quicker and easier. People without ID or with discrepancies would still go through the existing process.

          Republicans believe you need an ID to vote but you can donate millions to any candidate completely anonymously. (h/t jbou)

          by Calouste on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 03:10:48 PM PST

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      •  Age isn't always the problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, BYw

        Several people working at my precinct were definitely under 50, but were, shall we say, alphabet-challenged. They could see fine and everything, but just took for-freakin'-EVER to locate names on the voter roster. I (over 50, BTW) stepped in while someone was on a break and the other two said, "Oh, you're so fast at this!" Sigh.

        "I believe they talked of me, for they laughed consumedly."--George Farquhar

        by slapshoe on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:37:22 AM PST

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    •  Clearer signs, too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At my polling place in AL, we had 2 tables to check in at.  Each table had 2 lines: table 1 was A-F and G-L, you get the idea what table 2 was.

      The problem was, the sign indicating the lines was taped to the front of the table.  So if someone was standing there you couldn't see which line you should be standing in.  If the signs had been hanging from the ceiling above the tables there wouldn't have been this problem.  

      Or signs on the floor.    

      Republicans: if they only had a heart.

      by leu2500 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:47:33 AM PST

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