1. Do not talk on your cell phone while giving your name to the Roster Clerk. This actually happened to me today. I said, “I will help you when you are finished with your call. Next?” And the guy got pissed off, asking, “Tell me where there’s a law?”
2. Do not huff and puff and crowd old people in line. Come on. That’s just wrong. They are old. Someday you will be too. Oddly enough, the rudest people tend to be middle-aged, between 40-55. I did not have this problem from our Venice youth.
3. In fact, do not huff and puff at all.
4. Yes, there is only one Roster clerk. Do not pester the other Clerks in an attempt to jump ahead in the line. You must wait your turn in line. Everyone is busy. Relax. Having one Roster Clerk (person who checks you in) is one of the measures that helps to keep the vote correct and fair. Don’t be impatient.
5. Do be nice, it makes our day when people smile. The pollworkers have a long day, from 6AM til 9:30PM. They might be living on shitty coffee and doughnuts and potato chips and no bathroom breaks in a cold auditorium. The job gives a small stipend, like $60 for the day or something. We’re not there for the dough, folks . . . We’re there so you can exercise your right to vote. Or rock your vote, if you must.
6. Don’t hang out for an uncomfortably long time. One of the many things I love about working the polls is meeting my neighbors, truly! But please – know when to go home. Don’t try to chat up the pollworkers. There was a creepy lady today who would not leave. I wouldn’t look her in the eye and so thankfully she didn’t engage me. Finally she waddled her orange pant-suited self right outta the gymnasium.
7. Do bring cute five-year-olds. I said, “Hello! How are you, lil’ man?” to the cutest little kid. And I swear he full-on winked a perfect wink at me, with absolutely no hesitation. Made my night!
8. If you have to vote provisionally because you don’t have it together and you are only vaguely sure of where you might maybe could be listed as having a last address and you aren’t on my roster, then don’t make a scene. Vote provisionally. Every vote counts.
9. Know that there is little training for pollworkers. Understand they are doing the best they can, especially early in the morning. Don’t be argumentative about the process. We’ve got booklets. And a cell phone . . . and a . . . hey, just don’t get in our faces, K?
10. If you must drone on and on regarding some issue over which I have no control, like parking or crowd management, please do it with the inspector in the middle of the auditorium, and not in my roster line. This is for the benefit of your neighbors who are all around you, voting, so they can see how much of an ass you are.