On August 13, New Jersey is having a special primary election to elect a replacement for Senator Frank Lautenberg who died while in office. There was a lot of talk about how much holding this election would cost since the general election is only in November, especially for a state whose taxes are already the highest in the country. Not to mention that it's usually Democrats who are accused of excessive spending and this is a Republican governor who chose to do this. I think I understand why he did this, but that still doesn't help with the overall cost..I'm pretty sure he felt that appointing a replacement would be a lose-lose situation. If he appointed a Democrat, the GOP would accuse him of being a RINO (some already have). If he appointed a Republican, the Dems would accuse him of not honoring the electorate's original party of choice. It's beyond my control, no matter why it was decided.
I was unable to work the regular primary because they didn't need all the people they used in last November's general election, so you know how it is - last hired, first fired. But, this time, because it's an election that doesn't normally exist, several people had plans to be away at this time, so I was called to work this election. The official appointment came in the mail on Wednesday the 31st, although I was told on Monday about it.
I have to be at the site by 5:15 AM so we can get the voting machines set up, put out the flag, post all the regulations where they can be viewed by voters, sign all the statements required of every board worker assuring that we will uphold election laws and similar statements. Plus, if we want to be paid, we need to be sure our signatures are in place. Then we set up the tables and divide the registered voters between us so that we know which part of the alphabet will sign in where.
It is really an interesting, yet tedious, process with color coded seals and code numbers having to be matched to the proper items to ensure integrity. When the polls close at 8 PM, anyone still in line will be allowed to vote, although I don't think that will be as likely during a special election like this one. If someone comes in and they're names aren't on the rolls, but they are sure they are registered, then we must supply a provisional paper ballot to ensure that their vote is tallied once their declaration has been verified.
We will be on site for approximately 15 hours. If I am not loaned a car, my daughter will have to get up to take me and drop me off. No matter what, I will need to stop at the Wawa to get breakfast because there just isn't time to do it any other way. A nice big cup of coffee to sip on while I'm there, maybe a can of soda or two from home. Then, during the lunch break, there is at least one place I can go that is across the street, so if I don't have a car, I'll be OK.
The day before the election, I have to go to the municipal building to pick up all the books and keys that will be used during the election - I mentioned them above, with the color coded seals, etc. I will be responsible for getting it to the poll site without the seal being broken, but I have to get to the municipal building during business hours. My daughter will be at work, so I'll need my friend to take me or loan me his car.
But, that's what I'll be doing on Monday and Tuesday. It will be a long day and I might just be too pooped to post when I get home that night.