Monday, March 06, 2006

Footsoldier for the Republic...

Tomorrow is Primary Election Day here in the Great State of Texas. And I, your humble correspondent, will be spending the day at my precinct as an election official, as I have for the past 10 years.

I'm planning to write a streaming report on the events of the day--a day in the life of a humble footsoldier for the republic. It's people like me and my neighbors who give up our day from 7 am to 7 pm to see that the election is conducted properly. I won't be able to post until tomorrow evening because I don't think I will be able to pick up a wireless signal at our election venue (the local high school).

My precinct is one of the reddest precincts in one of the reddest states in the country: it is the home precinct of Rep. Tom DeLay. I think he has already voted early (Texas has very liberal early voting laws) and will not be voting in person so we probably won't get the press coverage that we usually do when he comes to vote. And wouldn't it have been wild this time? Maybe Christine DeLay, his wife, will show up.

Until the 2004 election, the Democrats never had anyone to oversee their primary in our precinct, so the same set of election officials had to work both primaries. We'd put the Republicans on one end of the auditorium and the Democrats on the other end and one of us would run over to the Democrat post if someone wanted to vote in that primary.

There usually isn't much interest in the Democrat primary because there are seldom contested races and there is no candidate in most of the local races. When a Democrat showed up we tried to convince them to sign up to be an election official for the next election. I remember one primary election when our first Democrat voter didn't appear until afternoon.

We'll see if the Dems show up tomorrow! I hope so, because at the last primary election they graciously fetched lunch for everyone since they're not very busy. And one of us will cover their post while they are out shagging burgers, nachos and fries for the troops.

And now the question is, What To Wear? We sit all day on very hard folding chairs behind a folding table, so comfortable pants are a must. The A/C at the high school auditorium has been known to freeze your fanny so it's good to tote a jacket. We have to wear large red, white and blue plastic ELECTION OFFICIAL badges-- so choose colors that won't clash too much.

And don't forget: cellphone (besides personal calls you may have to call the county clerk's office if there are voter registration issues), laptop, crossword puzzles, a snack, and a book for the periods when no one comes in and your fellow officials have run out of gossip.

If we need backup, I'm calling for Spooky Rach, Mindy and the Texas Truck o' Justice!

6 comments:

jledmiston said...

We'll be praying for your district on Tuesday. Blessings to all of you. May your district do the right (left?) thing.

Denis Hancock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Denis Hancock said...

I was just listening to NPR's story on the Texas primaries as I was navigating toward your blog.

Good luck, and I hope the extraneous issues don't overshadow the importance of involvement by the people.

will spotts said...

I impressed that you're so civic minded.

I've never been a fan of the one party system. I live in a "blue" state and some areas are almost the reverse of what you describe . . .

SpookyRach said...

VROOM! VROOM!

We got the TTOJ reved up and ready to go! Way to go for being an election official! Can't wait to hear how the day goes from your perspective.

(I voted early, too. Early voting is the coolest thing, but I do sort of miss standing in line with everyone else - wearing my Democrat tie and grousing at the poor election official for stamping "REPUBLICAN" on my voter registration card.) ('Cause obviously you have to vote in the Republican primary when all the contested elections are going on there. bummer!)

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

YYYYEEEEEHHHHHHAAAWWWWWW.....

Done voted and have my voters registration card stamped. I am ready to go QG just give us the signal!