Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Working the Primary

Its 9:38 am

    Its a cold grey morning ...still recovering from last night when Lori woke up with a terrible leg cramps. Leg cramps can be a real nasty and a really painful ordeal and you have to know how to react to them in order to end them quickly as possible. I went from a dead sleep to working those cramps out in 2 seconds flat. The cause could have been lack of liquids or a reaction to a dream,who knows...but it hurt like hell. Was able to work the cramps out and have her back to sleep in 20 minutes.

  Pretty jazzed up again as I have picked up another reader and someone is starting to repost some of my entries via Google+. I noticed that with my Falkland Islands entry and now my newest entry also has been liked that way. Slowly making progress....and pleased as punch to see so many of Paul's friends are still coming over to read my entry and sign his petition over at Thank you so much for supporting a true pioneer who is just trying to hang on to his home.

 Still working on my first two "8 Questions with...."stories. Joan Lemon is currently in a middle of a move and I'm still awaiting for social activist John Cromer to send back the interview. John is an amazing story. He has overcome a nasty crack addiction and a 13 year stretch in jail to become of one Detroit's bright spots in help the young men in Detroit get jobs,training and encouragement to overcome impossible odds and make real difference in the world. I'm excited to share with his voice and as soon as I get the interview ready,I'll post it here.
As I posted on Monday,I worked the Michigan Primary yesterday. It basically turned from a 4 man race to just Mittens and Insantorum. The Lizard and Ron Paul quit running in Michigan a while despite making a few in-state appearances,they didn't run any TV ads and we nary got a single robocall from them either.
  I drove to my post at 5:45 which was based at our main fire station. From 6 am to 7 am,we set up the precinct and got it ready for action. We had a crew of 5 which turned out perfect. Our chair was a delightful charming Virginia transplant named Bettie,our vice chair was a lady named Ginger who could pass herself  off as a Molly Shannon double,a very wise man named Bernie and a plucky woman named Becky.
  Now when you are going to be working together for almost 14 hours straight,its really helpful that you have a nice crew to work with and I have to say we had a blast. We had our station up and ready at 6:40 for a 7 am start. Bettie and Ginger were old hands at this while us other three were rookies so that helped in getting us ready so quickly.
  Now our precinct has 1,272 registered voters and before the day started,we took a guess at how many voters would actually show.
Bernie said  75
Bettie said   110
Ginger said 183
Becky  said 251
and my guess,based on the calls and media coverage,was 597.

  I know,goofy,but I really did expect a very heavy turnout based on all the teapublicans who say they can't stand President Obama.  Our city clerk has predicted a 30-32% turn out  so could say for sure.
Now there are certain rules for working a ballot station and the first rule is ,NO TALKING POLITICS while voters are around. We are not allowed to comment or even say the name of the parties because of the possible influence of altering someone's vote.Even among ourselves we had to use of course we came up with code words....I threw out "Mittens" and Bernie offered "Sanitation" . Turns out we barely talked about the primary,we talked more about families,jobs,kids,cats and our city.
  We listened to the fire station calls which a included a 3 year old who managed to get a bead stuck in her nose. Voters started straggling at a time,sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. By 9 am,Becky,Ginger and myself knew we weren't going to win.
  We all turned out to have a love of reading and had brought books..Ginger read hers on a Kindle while the rest of us read via the old fashioned way.
  We each took an 40 minute lunch break while the voter still trickled in. The city clerk came by and we when asked how everyone was doing at 1 pm,she shrugged her shoulders. While we had in 49 ballots cast,another station only had 16! Less then three voters per hour....
When folks asked us how many had turned and we told them,many of them were angry to see such a low turn out,the teapublicans felt they needed a large vote to prove that their candidate,no matter who it is,should feel they have a real shot at carrying Michigan and a low turn out would show apathy.
  The afternoon was pretty quiet,I finished the book I brought got ready for the last two hours. From 5 to 7 pm ,we saw the heaviest rush as people coming from work dropped by and voted. The last two voters can in at 7:55 pm and at 8 pm,the polls were closed.
  We shut the doors and proceeded to break down our equipment,we had actually started that at 7:30 pm so we could leave as soon as we could.
  Our final tally over 13 hours was 105 voters (out of a possible 1,272) We don't know how many were absentee voters but we didn't think it was that many. The breakdown of who got the votes:

Mittens  42
Insantorum  36
Ron Paul   17
Obama    5
The Lizard 4
Undecided 1

 We said goodbye to Bernie and Becky as I went with Bettie and Ginger,wheeling the heavy gear back to city hall and the counting station. Then off I headed to home.
 All in all,I enjoyed the will I work the general election in November? I don't know yet,hopefully I'll be working but even if I am,I might just ask for that day off because I really liked the folks I worked with.
   And starting tomorrow night is my CERT class. This will be a 2 month course where the city will train us to help our First Responders in case of a major emergency,much like what Elizabethtown,Kentucky is going through after being hit with a tornado today.
  Friday will see us in Ann Arbor for an appointment so no entry about CERT til Saturday.

Tomorrow I'll share what happened after I got home last night....its one for the books.

That is all I got for now.....thanks for reading!
Again,thank you all so much for dropping by and reading this. It means a lot.

Congrats to Wendy for winning a Shorty Award and happy birthday as well!
Happy birthday to Mocha's mom,the wonderful Camille!
And bittersweet to see of our best journalists to retire,Bill Gallagher,we salute you!
Zorro,don't bite the hand that feeds you...

1 comment:

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