My dream job has been achieved, in sorts. I always wanted to be one of those little old ladies at the precinct when you vote working the booths. I‘ve nailed the little old lady part; I mean I am crushing that! But Oregon only votes by mail. This means no little old ladies jobs! Or so I thought.
A neighborhood email went out that the county was looking for people to help with the elections. They were looking for drivers to pick up the ballot boxes and people to inspect the ballots. I immediately applied.
Be still my heart, I was applying for a job the closest to my dream job, my bucket list job! I was feeling pretty optimistic. Then weeks passed. The date I was told I would be notified came and went and no email. I thought my dream job would be dashed again. But then I saw an email to confirm my availability. I was in!!
I hope you are asking what a ballot inspector does and I will tell you; we inspect the ballots. I suppose you guessed that, but there is more to it. It is very regulated. At each table there are 3 or 4 people working as a team representing various political parties. You actually have your ID on a ribbon with your party’s color. If one person has to stand up everyone at the table has to stand up. We are not allowed to talk politics. As a team we decide if a ballot needs to be duplicated for a cleaner reading by the computer or enhanced if the square is not colored in enough. Supervisors do these jobs.
Here are some tips if you vote by mail I learned from being a Ballot Inspector:
- COMPLETELY color in the bubble or square but STAY in the lines
- NEVER USE WHIITE-OUT if you make a mistake
- Do not use a MAGIC MARKER OR GLITTER PENS
- Do not use your ballot as a NAPKIN, PLACEMAT or STEP ALL OVER IT
- Do not think you are funny to write in YOURSELF or anyone else not running
- Do not send your ballot in the SAME ENVELOPE with another ballot
- Read the instructions, i.e. FLIP OVER to the other side
- SIGN the envelope
- Do not DOODLE or draw pictures in the margins
- Do not mail your ballot with out a STAMP
Your vote will not count at all if you do #6 or #10.
IF YOU DO #5, you are pissing off the ballot inspectors! You, God, Jesus, Mickey Mouse, the entire Super Hero ensemble and all Disney characters are not running for office! IT IS NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT FUNNY!!!
It has been a great experience, one I hope to repeat if asked back for the next election. Have you ever worked the booths?