Well yesterday was long, long day 14 hours 31 minutes to be exact. I once again was a poll worker. It is amazing how much has changed since November. November was a breeze, take your paper ballot and put it in the box. There was no MAGA hats, shirts or weapons, everyone played by the rules. This time it was completely different. I had to tell people not to wear their MAGA stuff and I had to tell someone who was packing that he was not allowed in the polling place. I had to also convince people to actually cast their ballot. No, that big black box is not going to shred your ballot, I promise you. I don’t give a damn what you heard that black box is not a paper shredder, if you don’t put the paper in the box your vote won’t count. If it was a paper shredder, I wouldn’t have to get down on my hands and knees to pull paper ballots out at the end of the night (oh, the paper cuts I have).
The conversation about the paper shredder I had numerous times on Runoff Day. I told my mom on the phone call right after the election, if I ever meet any Republican who spewed these lies, I am going to punch them in the face. It was a long day, we were very busy, very much on par with the General Election, 1500 early/absentee and 881 in person. I did have to check the numbers for November 1700 early/absentee and 695 in person. A difference of 14 votes not too shabby for a runoff election. My Poll Manager has been working elections for 35 years and had never seen anything like it for a Runoff Election.
I had numerous experiences on Runoff Day, I do want to talk about the good because I want people to do this. I want people to Volunteer to be a Poll Worker because without us, the masses cannot vote. The best experience today, I was working the line – essentially the bouncer, no guns, political stuff & to make sure people are at the correct location. There was an older gentleman who came up to me and said, “Who would have thought little redneck Georgia would decide the fate of the country?” He is absolutely correct, who would have ever thought this. Many people thanked us for being there, volunteering, so they could vote. I not only became a poll worker in one of the craziest elections in American history, I also worked the next one where Georgia went Blue for the first time in forever.
I of course have a OMG stories from Runoff Day (well a couple but this is the number 1). There were these two ladies no masks, smelling of cigarettes who came into vote. They asked if they had a mask and they both said, “No, God is my mask.” They get to the machine, they put their hands on the divider. I say “Ma’am you need to insert the card.” She said, “I am praying this machine doesn’t change my ballot.” I rolled my eyes. She then finished, took a picture of her ballot because she wanted to make sure her vote wasn’t changed. Side note, photos are not allowed by Georgia Law, unfortunately there is nothing we could do about her taking a photo of her own ballot, someone else, yes we could have done something. She also was one of the people who said we shred ballots. I said, “Ma’am you take that ballot you didn’t vote, so it is up to you.” She put the ballot in the box. I had a couple of people in MAGA hats and one person who was packing heat. I stood my ground and would not let them come in because that is the law, no guns or political stuff. They all backed down when I stood there, wouldn’t move, they threw their tantrum and I looked them square in the eye and said, “Are you done? The law hasn’t changed.” They relented because they knew I wasn’t backing down.
We also had a crazy Poll Watcher, seriously, if she had told me the world was flat it would have been fitting. She became a Poll Watcher because Democrats put Poll Workers in place and they add votes at the end. I can tell you that would be impossible, for one all the numbers have to match – the Poll Pads, the iPads, the ballot box. We record the numbers every hour, because we have too. Adding any votes to an election on Election or Runoff Day would be extremely difficult, honestly I don’t know how one would do it. You would need access to everything, poll pads, machines and submitting ballots to the ballot box (not WiFi or connected to a network – it is just a counter). Another poll worker, who worked counting absentee ballots, said it would also be impossible for them to add absentee ballots because they have so many rules. Please keep in mind, that poll worker was a life long Republican. She said after the November election she would never vote Republican again because she felt personally attacked by them. I did call the poll watcher out on her BS and invited her to stay until we pulled all of the damn ballots out of the box, organize them and put them in the red lock bag. It is a pain in the ass, I have the paper cuts to prove it.
There were problems, November was crazy smooth, no running out of paper, no printer issues (jamming), nothing of the sort. This time, two of our printers ran out of paper. Meaning we have to power down the machine and the reactivate it. Huge pain in the ass! Also paper jam, same thing. Despite the difficulties we were able to get everything to work. Georgia voted and sent two Democrats to the Senate. I can say it is quite amazing to be apart of history, no matter how small of a role I played, I will be able to tell my children and grandchildren people were able to vote because of people like me.