Tuesday, November 04, 2008

At the Polling Place

I ended up spending a good deal of my day as a poll watcher, which would be about as exciting as watching a pole, if not for the climate of election day.

I was meant to be sure no campaigning was going on at the polling place, make sure provisional ballots were offered, and to see who had voted, so that we could call and remind (harass) those who haven't made it to the polls yet.

By noon, well over half the registered voters in my precinct had voted, so the turnout looks to be great.

Anyway, so there I was doing my duty when one of the poll workers asked me who I'm helping and I told her. She then said that person must be a Democrat because she didn't know the name, followed up with "I'd never vote for a Democrat, no matter who they were." Fortunately no voter was at our table, but still, that's at least a violation of the spirit of her duties. She knew it too, as after she said it she wanted to make sure to point out that no voters were around.

And it got odder, I had to listen to a whole conversation about why the Catholics don't care about orphans like the LDS and how Methodists don't take "care of their flock" when they're sick. All in the sweetest, most respectful terms, of course; boy, we know how to insult here in Utah :-).

I then stepped away to check in at another table and came back to hear her say something like "...just hope they don't get a super majority; that would be scary". She said this to a voter (one who she apparently knew, but still!).

To top it off she started in on Proposition 8 (yes, even and of course here in Utah). Words like "disgusting" were used. Talking about the menace our families posed, apparently to everything decent, she ended with "What else would you expect from those people?"

I didn't say anything; I was instructed to not discuss any politics there at all and so I swallowed my anger and kept at my tedious work. Importantly, the polling place is as near to sacred ground a government can get in my mind. I kept to my job and away from discussing any politics, save to remind her of our instructions. But it was interesting to know how some people talk about us when they don't think their bigotry can be heard.

Anyway, just wanted to vent I guess, after holding it in.


Amanda said...

Wow. That's awful. You have a lot more gumption than I do - I would have said something. I wouldn't have been able to hold my tongue. Or maybe I would have told a supervisor, to get that person kicked out...I guess I don't get control my anger too well.

I'm crossing my fingers for victory in CA tonight.

Mr. Fob said...

I'm sorry. People are stupid.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Would it have been violating your promise not to discuss politics to have asked her to stop?

Scot said...

Oh no, I reminded her we weren't supposed to be talking politics the first time she started in on it. I just kept away from arguing politics.

I talked to the head there and was told it wasn't clear enough. The first instance was without voters present, the second I didn't hear the whole conversation, and the Prop 8 stuff wasn't with voters present or on the ballot here.

Ophidimancer said...

You know what I love doing?

Mentioning my husband doesn't count as political talk, it's completely neutral personal talk.

I smile my sincerest smile when I talk about my husband and pretend that they don't have a look of shock on their faces.

Inside I gloat just a little though. I'm a bad person.