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(17,901 posts)
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 09:55 PM Jun 12

I worked at the polling place yesterday

It was close to my house. I had to be there at 5:30 a.m. The Voting Location Manager (VLM) was already there and most of us showed up right around 5:30. We worked steadily to get the polling place set up, and the machines online. Ohio is using Poll Pad, which scans the driver's license (or other acceptable state photo ID) brings up the person. If we get a match, we ask the person to state their name and address, and then ask them to verify the the info on the Poll Pad screen is correct and sign the screen if it is. The Poll Pad is mounted on a frame that allows you to flip it from your view to their view and back. After they sign it, you compare the signature with one on file, then print a ballot slip for them to take to the Freedom Voting machine to scan, to get the touch screen ballot, and vote. After the person votes the machine prints their choices and they take it to the ballot box. The ballot goes into a feeder and the slip they got goes into a bag on the front of the machine.
Ohio state law requires that a Dem and an R witness opening the machines, any assistance to a voter, and closing the machines. So all of the polling places have at least 2 Dems and 2 Rs. We had 6 people. We were supposed to have 9, but 3 people couldn't make it. We managed. Unfortunately, it was a very light turnout. It was good practice for me, because I will probably work the general election in Nov. I took all of the training seriously, I worked with Rs to ensure a free and fair election. I worked for my candidate prior to yesterday. Yesterday, I worked for democracy. I think we all did.

It was a long day. I woke up at 4 a.m. and got home at 8:45 p.m. The manager put us in touch with each other via text group and we decided to have pot luck. Since 3 people didn't show up, it was kind of slim pickings, but we had enough.

I wanted to describe the day. If anyone has considered being a poll worker, please go for it. I felt like I did something that pushed back against the thugs trying to ruin the election process in the U.S.. In Ohio, the 'observers' have to be given authority by the board of elections, and have to have certification to show. People can't hang around the polling place for an indefinitie time. The people who led our in-person training last week said that because this was one race, no issues, that we wouldn't have 'obsevers' but we should be prepared for a different atmosphere in Nov. Even so, I look forward to the next chance I get to work the polls.

23 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I worked at the polling place yesterday (Original Post) Marthe48 Jun 12 OP
Thank you for doing this, Marthe48. Diamond_Dog Jun 12 #1
Thanks. Always thank people at polls, even though I know the are likely Republicans here. It's a long day(s). Silent Type Jun 12 #2
I always thank them. murielm99 Jun 13 #16
Thank you Fudster Jun 12 #3
Thank you Marthe48 Jun 12 #6
i was gonna work the may primary here, but i just couldnt hack that long day. mopinko Jun 12 #4
I am glad I was fit and rested Marthe48 Jun 12 #7
Good for you! The general will be interesting, to say the least. Here in Arizona, when I dobleremolque Jun 12 #5
Nobody should be chatting with voters in line. LiberalFighter Jun 12 #13
I worked the polls for years. I liked it. LisaM Jun 12 #8
Thank you for your service!! 58Sunliner Jun 12 #9
Been doing this poll work since 2018. DinahMoeHum Jun 12 #10
Thanks for doing the work Marthe48 Jun 13 #17
That seems like a lot of work to verify a voter Hermit-The-Prog Jun 12 #11
Ohio is tightening up voter security Marthe48 Jun 13 #18
Thank you for doing this, Marthe48! calimary Jun 12 #12
Thank you Marthe48 Jun 13 #19
In Indiana it is a minimum of five election workers LiberalFighter Jun 12 #14
That's how the manager is picked here too Marthe48 Jun 13 #20
Please volunteer AverageOldGuy Jun 13 #15
The stories I read or heard Marthe48 Jun 13 #21
Thank you for doing it - long days TBF Jun 13 #22
Thanks for doing that Marthe48 Jun 13 #23


(32,931 posts)
1. Thank you for doing this, Marthe48.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:01 PM
Jun 12

I hope the November election goes as smoothly. I’m really afraid some yahoos might want to start trouble.

That’s certainly a lonnng day. I’ll bet you’re looking forward to a good nights’ sleep! You deserve it!

Silent Type

(4,725 posts)
2. Thanks. Always thank people at polls, even though I know the are likely Republicans here. It's a long day(s).
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:03 PM
Jun 12


(31,008 posts)
16. I always thank them.
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 12:39 AM
Jun 13

All of them, regardless of party. In my precinct, most of the Democrats were recruited by me. I have been the Democratic precinct committee leader for years.


(17,901 posts)
6. Thank you
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:38 PM
Jun 12

We get paid, so that helps take the sting out of the hours I didn't know poll workers got paid when I decided to sign up, so it was a nice surprise,


(71,063 posts)
4. i was gonna work the may primary here, but i just couldnt hack that long day.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:14 PM
Jun 12

my health goes up and down, and the training day nearly killed me.
if i’m feeling better by nov, i may work the general. it’s exhausting, but it’s also a blast. there’s a bunch of neighbors that i know through working previous elections.
i was amazed at the turnout for training. lotta young folks but also more than a couple old war horses, like me, saying- this time they need me. here i am.

all our polls were fully staffed in my ward. i did pass lit for a while, so i got to look in on a couple spots. i hung for a while in a senior bldg where they usually have 4 judges, but they had 6!

i rly, rly urge du’ers, esp those of the badass variety, to get out there and work this 1. then when some idiot tries to cry about it, u can say- hey, i was there. you’re full of shit.


(17,901 posts)
7. I am glad I was fit and rested
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:44 PM
Jun 12

Unpadded metal folding chairs, a large polling place, bathroom 50-75 ft down the hall. Glad I conditioned with petsitting the week before. lol

I went to bed early the night before, and went to bed early last night, heading to bed soon. I hope I am rested by tomorrow.


(633 posts)
5. Good for you! The general will be interesting, to say the least. Here in Arizona, when I
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:33 PM
Jun 12

was a precinct inspector (like a VLM where you are), I had one real obnoxious observer (guess which party...) who wandered around the room, peered over election workers' shoulders, chatted up voters standing in line, and generally made a nuisance of himself if not flat out disrupting the process. If he had touched any of the paperwork, or the ballots, or gone over to the ballot-marking privacy booths, I would have had him thrown out then and there.

But I got permission from the elections department to use 3-inch blue painters tape to mark off a 5-foot by 5-foot square, put a folding chair in it, and told the guy the sit in the chair and not move. He was perfectly capable of "observing" from that location and if he had an concerns or requests, he could ask me. Had to do the same for the Democratic observer but she had no objection after watching her counterpart's "moran" antics.

I didn't work last election cycle, after the county consolidated the individual precincts into voting centers and they have more Democrats that are willing to work elections than Republicans. (And I'm conflicted as to whether that's a bad thing.... )

Anyway, thank you thank you thank you!


(52,704 posts)
13. Nobody should be chatting with voters in line.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 11:45 PM
Jun 12

Except who signs them in and the person instructing how to use the machine.


(28,042 posts)
8. I worked the polls for years. I liked it.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 10:50 PM
Jun 12

It was a good day's pay, I met nice people, and I learned a lot. That was one reason I was sorry Washington went to all-mail. The nice people who worked the polls were mostly out of the job. I did it when I was in college, but most of the poll workers are seniors, probably on a fixed income, who could use a little extra money.


(22,078 posts)
10. Been doing this poll work since 2018.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 11:05 PM
Jun 12

I work the NY primary June 25; and have to be at the polling place at 5 am for set-up, etc.

Polls in NY open at 6 am and end at 9 pm, so I usually don't get home until around 11 pm.

Glad to hear of another DUer doing this work.


(17,901 posts)
17. Thanks for doing the work
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 08:16 AM
Jun 13

I not only learned a lot about the process and laws, but also about what the poll workers are doing. I thought there might be a shift change, but not here. I'll definitely work on better ideas for food next time And maybe bring a chair pad! lol


(35,142 posts)
11. That seems like a lot of work to verify a voter
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 11:23 PM
Jun 12

My scribbling on a touch screen would never match my signature (with pencil or pen).


(17,901 posts)
18. Ohio is tightening up voter security
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 08:24 AM
Jun 13

The people who trained us said there were a lot of changes even from 2022. It doesn't take long, and getting it done quick is a plus. Almost every person grumbled about the signature, but what they wrote and what was on file matched pretty well.


(52,704 posts)
14. In Indiana it is a minimum of five election workers
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 11:52 PM
Jun 12

Inspector from whichever party got the most votes for Secretary of State in the county. And a Judge and Clerk from both party.

In Allen County, pay is $85 for the day. Inspector and Judge from other party receive additional pay. Pay hasn't changed since at least 2006.


(17,901 posts)
20. That's how the manager is picked here too
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 08:29 AM
Jun 13

I forgot about that part. I bet our manager's spot is safe in this county!


(1,688 posts)
15. Please volunteer
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 12:27 AM
Jun 13

I'm a long-time member of the 3-member Electoral Board in a small, rural VA county. I can tell you from contact with Electoral Board members and General Registrars across Virginia, we all have one problem in common: NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE TO WORK AT THE POLLS.

It's a real commitment.
-- TRAINING: Our Officers of Election are trained annually -- it's a 4-6 hour training session, usually in October before the November general election. All our training including how-to documents and videos are online, but, EVERYONE must attend the in-person training.
-- ELECTION DAY: Election Day is TOUGH. Report to the precinct at 5:00 AM. Set up the equipment: Verify equipment seals, set in place, turn on, check it out, print initial reports. Deal with voters all day. When polls close at 7:00 PM, you still have 2 hours of work to do: Print tallies from voting machines, double-check that you have enough copies; account for every ballot -- used, unused, void, spoiled, provisional; fill out forms; fill out some more forms; everyone signs everything; clean up the mess; return everything to the Registrar's office and check it in. Get home around 10:30 - 11:00 PM -- that's a 15-18 hour day.
-- DEAL WITH THE PUBLIC. 99.5% of voters are nice people, patient with long lines, smile, follow instructions. Then, there is the 0.5% -- which is why we have sheriff's deputies on call.

Contact your city/county General Registrar to volunteer.

Did I mention the pay? It's not much.


(17,901 posts)
21. The stories I read or heard
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 08:46 AM
Jun 13

about the way poll workers are pressured, are what finally got me to move on volunteering. I want to do what I can to push back against the enemies of this country. Supporting candidates, maintaining thoughtfulness if I post anywhere, voting and now this are things I can do to defend what we have. As long as I am healthy, I can do those things

All of the points you wrote make sense, now that I've done the work. We were lucky that everyone who voted were well-mannered. We had only 1 provisional vote, because of an expired license. In training, making sure people got to vote was job one. I didn't know that poll workers got paid. I know it's not much, but I'll save it for lunch money

Thanks for being a longtime volunteer.


(32,710 posts)
22. Thank you for doing it - long days
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 05:23 PM
Jun 13

I have friends who do it regularly, but I've not tried given that I have pets at home.

I have done calls and walking door to door though (not all day, just in shifts) - it helps if each of us does something. That was one thing that was really clear from the Obama campaigns - we reached a lot of folks going door to door.


(17,901 posts)
23. Thanks for doing that
Thu Jun 13, 2024, 05:37 PM
Jun 13

I did some canvassing, worked at local headquarters, I did phone calls one year. I'm confident the younger people will step up, even if their obligations are crushing. I hope the Dems will find ways to lighten the load for young people, young families. We need volunteers for civic, school, church, and campaigns.

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