I am an Election Day poll worker ‘newbie’ with this past Election Day the biggest in terms of turn-out of the two I have now worked. I expect that the November election will see an even bigger turn-out so ‘early to the polls’ would be a good watchword for November. That having been said, here are some thoughts and reflections:
There were no significant issues of which I am aware due to the Voter ID requirements that exist. Photo IDs were in hand and people were generally in good spirits even when the lines were a bit longer. There were significant numbers of new registrants especially, it seemed, in the final two or three hours during which the polls were open (obviously, those were likely people who worked or attended school all day). There were three or four of us processing those folks through to get to the point of being able to vote and we were very busy for the last couple of hours. Even with those waits in line, there were virtually no ‘grouchy’ issues with people who seemed to understand that we all were going as quickly as we could recognizing the ID checking and form completion required, coupled with the need to occasionally resort to other documents for proper ward determination.
Most people I encountered appeared to have understood the new requirements in spite of news reports casting doubt on just how smoothly the voting would go based on those new requirements.
The last hour to hour and one-half seemed the busiest of the entire day and that makes sense given work hours, school attendance, etc. That having been said, the last person to vote where I was working arrived at about 7:50PM with her young daughter and voted by about 7:55PM.
I have taken some strong positions concerning Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) in the past, but those officials know elections and do yeoman’s work to assure as good an experience as possible. The people in the Germantown Village Clerk’s office also know elections. We do not quite know yet what the two replacement groups for the GAB will look like, and we understand there were political decisions at work in the ending of the GAB and its replacement by something yet to be experienced. We trust the new version of the voting side of the GAB will be as capable as the old version.
A final word: If you are able to get to the polls during mid-day hours, you will be rewarded with a much shorter amount of time required of you to cast your ballot. If you can only arrive after 4:30PM, please be ready to wait in line before you’re able to cast your ballot. We poll workers will go as quickly as possible to enable you to vote. Your understanding is very much appreciated by each of us!