Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Honest work at the polls.

The first time I worked for the county at the polls was over thirty years ago when I worked for a credit union. My boss was a Republican. The year Carter was running for President, he signed me up to work the polls as the Republican representative. I worked and never spilled the beans that I was really a Democrat. I wore a small gold peanut under my jacket lapel so I knew it was there but it wasn't visible.

I was going through my calendar today and see that I've agreed to be "trained" as a poll worker the 20th of the month. Have any of you ever worked at the polls? I highly recommend it. The job is clerical and any literate person can do it. You don't have to stand on your feet much and you get paid. In my county the county clerk pays $125.

I particularly like it when a young person comes in and it's the first time they have voted. Last election I worked in the fall of 2008, a man of at least 80 came in and stated that was the first time he'd voted. I was in awe. I don't get why people don't vote. I had a school friend killed in Vietnam. I had other friends who were treated badly when they returned from that war. I vote in their memory.

I am a registered Democrat. There is an equal number of each party working that day. This is to keep any hanky panky from happening. If all the workers were one party it is theorized that thae party would "fix" the vote in their favor. This has never happened when I worked and it's not been reported to have happened in any election in my county since I've lived here. So, the system works.

Reggie reminds me that some years past a car would be parked near the polls and as voters came out after voting they would be handed a half pink of whiskey if they said they voted for the favored candidate. I'm not sure how they knew they voted for them, but I suppose if they didn't carry the election at that poll, it would be obvious. As far as I know this doesn't happen here.

For some reason it is difficult to get Republicans to work at the polls. Every year there are public service announcements on the television local news, recruiting workers and it's always mentioned that in particular they need Republicans. Maybe someone can explain why this is. All the Republicans I've worked with seem to be good people. Other than some polite debate there isn't any arguing about anything.

The Easter week has been quiet. My birthday also happens to be this week, but I'm not planning anything special for it. Last Saturday my very best girlfriend Anne, who lives out of town but who grew up in a house in sight of mine, threw me a surprise party. In my entire life I've never had a birthday party let alone a surprise one. She worked in cahoots with other friends and I walked right into it as an innocent. It sure was fun though. I've got the pink balloons and a mass of daffodils to show for it.

I love flowers. In the spring Daffodils are my favorite. Otherwise I adore stargazer lilies. In Kentucky and southern Indiana where I grew up, you will find fields of daffodils. If you inquire you usually find out there used to be a farm house there. I imagine a farm wife setting out bulbs a hundred years ago. This flower makes new bulbs under ground. If you don't control them, they will move across the field as a herd of sheep grazing.

Anne filled four vases with daffodils. She got most of them from a pasture across the road from where her daughter lives in the county where I grew up.

My opinion on flowers is give them to your friends and family now. Don't send them when they die. Imagine receiving a bouquet of wild flowers wrapped in damp newsprint held out to you by someone you love. Magic!