Saturday, July 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

How to make poll workers’ lives better

tony wade column sig

By
From page A2 | June 09, 2014 |

There was a special election in the mid-1990s – and those typically don’t bring out that many voters, especially when it is pouring rain. Still, I did my civic duty and went to my polling location. When I walked in, a woman working there gave me no greeting, save asking me for the necessary identifying information.

Now, I didn’t expect a handshake or hug, but a “hello” would’ve been nice. After voting, I told the woman to “Have a good day!” There are many ways to respond to that and a bland “yeah” is usually not the one most people pick, but that’s what she went with.

I called the Solano County Registrar of Voters and complained about her rudeness. I also decided to become a poll worker to show I could do it better than that.

The first place I worked was at Trinity Lutheran Church on Dover Avenue. I was the roster clerk and greeted voters with a smile. Fast forward to last Tuesday’s primary election and I was back at the location where I started.

Since 2010, I have worked as an inspector, which just means that you are the one in charge to make sure it goes smoothly.

As expected, voter turnout was not that high. The 112 regular ballots, plus 19 provisional ballots, cast at our polling place represented a mere one-tenth of the more than 1,000 voters I helped to process at a different polling place in the 2012 presidential election.

I thought I had experienced every voting scenario working the past two incredibly busy presidential contests, but I was wrong. On Tuesday, we had not one, but two voters put their completed ballots into the AutoMark machine that is used to mark ballots for voters with disabilities instead of the M100 ballot scanner (that I playfully nickname “R2D2” or “The Shredder”). Thankfully, they were easily ejected and put in the correct machine.

I had my first curbside voter – someone who couldn’t come into the polling place, but with her husband’s help, was able to participate in the democratic process.

I have to give the Solano County Registrar of Voters props for listening to poll workers and responding. They add little things that can make a big difference. For instance, including adhesive clips for the rosters that hang outside polling places and 100 feet of string to measure exactly how far to put signs warning that electioneering is not allowed from the door of the voting facility.

Instead of using the poll worker suggestion sheet, I usually just offer mine here:

1. The back of the manual that inspectors use should have an alphabetized index of different scenarios we are likely to encounter and include corresponding page numbers. The table of contents in the front is good, but the good is sometimes the enemy of the best.

2. Having a large picture on the front of the sample ballot showing the polling place would be better than mere words because my experience is that, unfortunately, few read the words. Actually, a picture of anything on the cover – up to and including a disturbing non-sequitur shot of Miley Cyrus twerking – would draw attention to words telling voters where to vote.

That is the No. 1 complaint that voters have – that their polling place changed. I always tell people that it is subject to change because churches and other organizations are not required to let anyone use their facilities for voting and sometimes they are just unavailable.

3. The cellphones that inspectors use are vintage flip phones. While it was fun for about two minutes to pretend I was Captain Kirk using a communicator asking Scotty to beam me up, I had to actually Google the instruction manual to do basic things on that Jurassic device. Can those be upgraded?

The overwhelming majority of voters are nice and friendly, which makes it a pleasure. When they are not, I have a secret weapon far and beyond being polite and professional. I always bring some candy when I am an inspector to offer voters as they exit. Not only does it often help to disarm frustration and anger, but it also reflects how sweet it is to live in a democracy.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Large party to honor entry into Army

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
Crashes snarl Friday traffic on Interstate 80

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Abrams to speak at Democratic Club meet

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Share nature’s bounty with others

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
Physical activity may diminish fatigue

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B10, 1 Comment

Weather for Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

 
.

US / World

Police still investigating after burglar killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
What happened? The day Flight 17 was downed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US: Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Large Sandy-struck family splits $20M lottery win

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

California county sues over subdivision slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
BART station reopens after reported bomb threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Wildfire forces evacuation of rural NorCal homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-Bell councilwoman gets 2 years for corruption

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Database details California school employee pay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California state senator facing additional charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Designer: Bay Bridge bolts don’t need replacing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Pelvis pix victims must feel trauma to share $190M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sheriff: 300 homes burned in Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Taiwan plane survivor crawls out, phones dad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Teams converge on remote site to probe plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Former CIA officials can’t see ‘torture’ report

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Same-sex marriage ban struck down for Miami area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Migrants: Obama urges Latin leaders, GOP to help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Ebola outbreak spreads to 4th West African country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Top 3 ways to impress an employer

By Deon Price | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: July 26, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Immersion kindergarten class in jeopardy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Cheers, jeers for the week of July 20-26, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 26, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
I’m not attracted to my husband since he’s gained weight

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

.

Entertainment

Sam Raimi announces planned ‘The Last of Us’ film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Nolan, McConaughey surprise with ‘Interstellar’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Comic-Con gets first look at ‘Mockingjay’ trailer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Bazinga! ‘Big Bang Theory’ writers hit Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Scientists make love, war weapons in ‘Manhattan’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Forces strong during NHRA qualifying at Sonoma Raceway

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield Expos bats come alive in 13-2 win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Raiders brimming with optimism at start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers ready to fill big void for injured Bowman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Puig, Dodgers go triple-crazy, beat Giants 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Horsey in halfway lead at Russian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

7-shot lead for Langer at Senior British Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Furyk, Petrovic, share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

US rebounds to win twice in International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hammel 0-3 for A’s after 4-1 loss to Rangers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

With Nibali in command, Tour is about 2nd place

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FIFA rejects calls to strip Russia of World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Marshawn Lynch missing as Seahawks camp begins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dallas Cowboys LB McClain convicted in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, July 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

NASCAR drivers want changes on the schedule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Orders for US durable goods up 0.7 percent in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Global tensions don’t dent enthusiasm for stocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Feds probe Dodge Charger alternator complaints

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
McNuggets pulled from sale in HK after meat scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

US to evaluate Impala air bag performance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Pamela Dixon

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Mary Spingola Stagnaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 07/26/14

Real estate transactions for July 26, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Citation Northern offers new Madison Lane homes

By Barry Eberling | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.13 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2