Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Did I Make a Difference?

Spreading the gospel of Jeff Devine at the polls today ("Have a Devine Day!"), I was blown off entirely by several voters. "No thanks. I've already decided on who I will vote for." "No." "I don't need that." Although these voters initially frustrated me, fellow poll worker Walter Jermakowicz (alumnus of Reitz and Signature School, currently attending USI) brought to light the fact that when he votes, he tries to avoid people like us, the poll workers.

Really, do poll workers serve a purpose? Will just saying "Please vote Jeff Devine for School Board. He's #131!" and handing out slips with his name and ballot number help his cause? How many votes are achieved by this? The voters aren't presented an argument why to vote for that candidate. Especially when the typical voter is accosted by a bajillion poll workers yelling out a chorus of names. Vote for GilhamDevineArneyHostettlerHartkemooWillet! Even Mr. Willet, who personally worked the polls with me at St. Marx Church, was very friendly and personal to all the voters, but didn't say anything deeper than "I would appreciate it if you voted for me." If I could vote, I probably wouldn't be swayed by the poll workers.

If some people actually are swayed by the poll workers, then obviously those people did not educate themselves prior to the election. They have no business voting for a name or face that they don't really know beyond an election pamphlet attained at the last minute.

What do I propose to solve this problem? Well, banning political advertisement on Election Day is too extreme. However, I personally plan on discouraging people from working for political candidates that they don't know. When I turn 18, I will go to the polls and when someone tries to hand me a pamphlet and grill a name into my short-term, subconscious memory, in hopes that I will vote for their candidate, I will ask why I should vote for that candidate. Maybe I'll learn something and vote for someone who I previously knew nothing about. Or maybe I'll just be being rude to some high school poll worker.

update: Fox 7 Poll

What did you vote based on today?
TV/radio 14%
Party Lines 33%
News/Media 53%

Note the lack of "poll workers."


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