For several years now I’ve served as an election judge. We have a training session before each election although it’s usually just a review of what we’ve done in the past.
This year, though, there was something new or at least different. We had a big discussion of election challengers or observers. It seems one of the political parties will have these observers in at least some of the polling places to “observe” the election. As luck would have it, the polling place where I’m assigned is one that is almost sure to have an observer.
We were given guidelines on where the observer can go in the polling place (behind our sign-in table, basically), and what they can do. There is to be no politicking in the poll. They are not to make any phone calls in the poll; if they want to call someone, they must go outside and be 25 feet from the door.
I didn’t work this poll at the August election. The judges who did said they had an observer. From what they told me, she was a bit of a pain, complicated by the fact that two of her daughters were outside lobbying for something and kept coming in the poll to confer with their mother.
I’m not sure what the purpose of this person is, especially since that party’s candidate is running several points ahead of the opponent according to media reports. The party must not be that confident since I understand they are calling people asking if you’re going to vote for their candidate. If you say yes, they add your name to a list. They will try to find out if you really did vote that way when they’re “observing” the election.
Sounds like it’s going to be fun and games at the polling place on Tuesday.