Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My experience on the day of 2008 presidential elections

On Nov.4 2008, the presidential Election Day, I worked at a poll place near my house. It was rainy dark morning before sun rise, I walked to the location. About 6:00am, I started setting up private booth, posting signs, and etc with other poll worker which consisted of 3 high school girls, 3 African American ladies, 3 white ladies(2 workers and a inspector), two Asians(a young Chinese speaker and me). There were 3 more workers than the previous elections.

At 6:30am, one man entered the place wanting to vote. It was a half hour early to open the poll. So he had to wait until 7:00am. As soon as we opened the door at 7:00am, voters flooded into the place. This is my forth time to work at this location. Before this election, we had only few voters showed up. At this one, the lines of voters were long early in the morning. I heard bad traffic was caused by voters driving toward to the poll place. Many people said that this is their first time to vote. They were not only 18 years old new voters but older voters. Many families came to vote together.
I have never seen observers here on the previous elections although my husband told me there were always some observers at his voting place. At this time, there were three observers there. Two of them were there from early in the morning until the poll closed. One even took notes how many voters voted the location and how many incident reports were recorded.
There was a person who took photos. 7 private booths were occupied and voters filled their ballot on the extra tables.
After 6:30pm, only few voters came. It was almost 8:00pm. One of fellow workers took a short break and saw her text message learning that Obama won the election. I saw fireworks when I was collecting VOTE signs. There were 8 times or more voters in this poll came to vote than the previous elections. I could read one or two chapters of my book while I was waiting for voters the previous elections. I had merely enough time to say hello to some acquaintances at this time. We were lucky to have done all closing process smoothly and head home around 10:00pm. It was the long busy day.
The next election, people will mail their ballot and there will be no more poll places in Seattle. I love being a poll worker to be a part of the election process. I miss meeting and working with fellow poll workers and greeting my neighbors. I am grateful to be here to experience these all excitements of America.

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