Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Voting in Washington Township

Polling place parking lot filled with poll workers' cars.
Yesterday was Primary Day in New Jersey. There was not much in the way of contested Democratic primaries, but I try to vote in every election.

At around 8:00am, I pulled up to the polling place, the Washington Township Ambulance Corps building, and saw a full parking lot. Great turnout? Think again. All the prime spots were taken by poll workers.

The Ambulance Corp building accommodates two voting districts, 23 and 24. Each district has a table, three people at each table. There are two page-turners, for the first and second half of the alphabet, and a third person who sits and does nothing. There is a greeter near the door, and and at least on curtain opener and ticket taker at the voting booths. There may be other hangers-on but in all I was able to count eight poll workers and one voter (myself).I walked up to the district 23 table, and gave my name, and spelled it out. 

Me: "P-I-C-K-E-N-S"
Poll worker: "T-I?"
Me: "No. P-I-C-K-E-N-S" 

After I spelled my name out not once, not twice, but THREE times, the idiot at the table still turned to the "T" page, and I had to direct him to the "P" page. Apparently he doesn't understand indexing because he started with the "PA" page, then went page by page, running his finger down each page so excruciatingly slowly I could barely detect movement. Then when he finally got to the "PI" page, looked up and me, and said "Pierce?", I had to find my name myself and point it out to him. Then to add insult to injury he asked, "Republican"?He handed me my ticket (why are the Democratic tickets pick and the Republican tickets blue?) and I went into the voting booth. I voted for Bob Menendez, Francis Tenaglio, running against Rep. Rob Andrews, wrote my own name in for the LD-4 Assembly, and abstained on the rest.

When I went back to my car, parked in the Midas Muffler parking lot because the polling place lot was filled with poll workers' cars, there was a kid standing near my car with a fistful of M&Ms. He asked me if I had voted for the "Three M's" (Republicans running for WT Mayor and Council). I asked him if he was 100 feet from the building. I wanted to ask him, "why the fuck aren't you in school", but I took pity on him as after a few hours I'm sure he would rather have been in school.

I could have lied and got myself a free bag of M&Ms.