No, not voter I.D. I’m saying that there are a lot of people who hang out at the polls, and not all of them are poll workers– some are poll-watchers, a longstanding political tradition and guard against voter fraud.
I was talking with a co-worker yesterday and mentioned the election.
“I don’t know if I’ll vote”, she said, “it doesn’t make any difference”. Of course I launched into a sermon about the urgent call for citizens to uphold our democracy and all that stuff.
Then she told me that the last time she went she was hassled, and treated rudely, and what’s more– saw other voters stepping out of line with no objections.
I told her that this may have been overzealous poll watchers, because the workers at my polling place are efficient and pleasant, but poll watchers may be poorly trained– they may get away with annoying voters unless it gets extreme enough to call the cops.
I privately wondered if she had been profiled by overzealous poll watchers who are hopped up on stories of illegal voters, and think they know what those voters might look like. They might make things just unpleasant enough to make a citizen think twice about taking time out of work to wait in line and risk more of the same.
So, vote as if you life depended on it. Vote for our troops who fight in our name for reasons increasingly unclear. Vote for every one of your ancestors who was denied.
And if anyone steps in to interfere with you– ask them for I.D.
UPDATE: I just voted, it was a breeze, but kind sad about that. Turnout is very light as of 9:30am. A neighbor was volunteering as a ‘poll spotter’. She was checking off names on a list of registered voters as they came in. She said that if anyone is treated with any less than helpfulness and respect, get their name and call the Secretary of State.
I want to acknowledge all the poll workers over the years who were always a help and are dedicated to the process.