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I worked the Pennsylvania primary election this week providing election and voter protection services in the Philadelphia suburbs.  I was one of a small group of attorneys supporting the County Democratic Party overseeing a circuit of voting precincts during Tuesday's primary.  It was a fun and rewarding sixteen-hour day.  

Why do I entitle this diary "hope"?  Because in the vast majority of the dozen precincts I visited as an voter protection attorney, the 20% of the voter pool that showed up was enthusiastic and diverse.  I met a wide range of ages and races working the polls, greeting voters, and voting.  Poll workers ranged from eighteen to eighty.  The minority and majority inspectors got along well, with many precinct workers as Facebook friends across party lines.  One of the Republican poll workers offered me food - twice.  Another Republican poll workers invited me to their after-party (I had to go to the Democratic after-party, of course).  

Tip O'Neill said that all politics is local.  If we could only make the people in Washington can understand that, then maybe the destructive Republican nonsense can at least fade a bit?  Or am I too optimistic that we actually can get past this "party of no" business?  

And, by the way, other than one Judge of Elections trying to get me to not watch the count at the end of the day (which we took care of as soon as she understood I wasn't leaving), things went well.  Let's see how things go in November.  Maybe the County will put me on the same circuit?

Originally posted to Bulldozer on Sat May 24, 2014 at 08:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for Ur service & report. Any insights into (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldozer, Lujane

    ...likely November general election or 2016 gains by candidates identified as Progressives, Centrist Dems, Extreme and Non-Extreme Republicans?

    •  Please see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      my reply below.  I think we have a shot at a couple of seats (don't need many).  

      The election I was helping watch, the primary in the 164th House District, was contested by a progressive trying to fix a conservadem.  A third candidate pulled enough votes away to re-nominate the conservadem.  When I heard her speak at the after-party, she did not seem to indicate she understood why she drew two primary challengers.  Sometimes people listen when they get primaried.  Sometimes not.  

      Our Congressional nominee, Mary Ellen Balinchus, is a very nice political science professor.  However, the 7th District is horribly gerrymandered beyond belief (don't believe me, ask my State Senator, Daylin Leach - he has a lot on his Facebook page about this issue).  The district, which forever was only Delaware County and maybe a bit of the neighbors, now spans five counties, some of which have very little in common with Delco.  I hope she does well, but I'm concerned.  

  •  Thanks for Your service. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, Bulldozer, Lujane

    I occasionally work as the Majority Inspector in my Pennsylvania Township. To be truthful - we all just usually work together as a team - The Judge of Elections just passes out the labels as the workers come in in the morning - she peels them off the page from the top and it's first come first serve without regard to party. No one minds - we feel we are all there to do our civic duty.

    We have had bogus challenges from both Parties - and again we work as a team to insure that everyone's Right to vote is protected.

    We have had an obvious Tea Party attorney try to close the polls down, and generally disrupt things by challenging every voter who came in - and the Republican Inspector was the one to put him in his place.  

    Everyone should try and serve in at least one election at their polls if their state allows it - it is an eye opening experience, and always regenerates my Hope every time I do it.

    • "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." Thomas Paine
    • "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." Stephen King

    by Tommymac on Sat May 24, 2014 at 01:20:55 PM PDT

    •  It was a long day, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tommymac, Lujane

      but a lot of fun.  Many of the poll workers were happy to see someone from the County visit them, regardless of what party the County people represented.  And I met several of the candidates and their children, who were happy to see us out and about.  I'll do it again - but my Township party wants me to take the vacant party committee position, which comes with a "commitment" to work my local precinct on election days.  I think they will understand.

  •  What area are you in? Any indication of Democrats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bulldozer, Lujane

    picking up state leg. seats there?

    •  HD 163, SD17 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      My neighborhood (Haverford Township, Delaware County) is being moved from the 166th House District to the 163rd House District as of this election - another blatant gerrymander.  However, this gerrymander may not work.  As soon as the General Assembly moved us, we found a House candidate from the new part of the 163rd District (Vince Rongione, www.votevincepa.com) to run for the good guys.  As soon as he announced, the incumbent R retired - open seat.  District is about even, so it comes down to ground game.  

      The Senate seat that covers much of this district (but not my part, we have Daylin Leach) is currently R, but Ted Erickson is retiring from the 26th District this election.  Hopefully, John Kane can flip this seat - it will be close.  

      If we can get these two seats out of traditionally Republican Delaware County, we're on our way towards fixing a lot of things - like a severance tax (why are we the only state without one?).

      Let's hope.  When I spoke with Vince at the after-party Tuesday, I volunteered my home for an event for him.  Maybe he takes us up on the offer?  

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