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Confessions Of A Poll Worker

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Confessions Of A Poll Worker

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Being a poll worker isn’t as easy as you may think. Long hours, back pain, paper being thrown at you, and barely getting paid minimum wage; it all made me consider going back to school that day. But, I stuck with it. And, I ended up having the time of my life.

It was an early day. I had to be at the gig at 6 am, so I made sure to wake up at 5:00 to ensure that I had all the time I needed to get ready. As I drove into the parking lot, my heart pounded from nerves. Looking up at the building, my eyes slowly focused on the sign that was next to it: Central Elementary School, Election Polls This Way.

The minute I walked into Central’s cafeteria, where the election polls were located, I was put to work. My first job was to put out signs all over the schools, indicating that the polls were located in the cafeteria. Then, I helped my fellow volunteers set up the actual poll booths to vote and made sure to put out pamphlets that offered information on what was on the midterms (all of which were free for voters to take).

Though I had attended an educational seminar on what to expect on Election Day and the responsibilities that came with being a student volunteer, the actual day was much more hectic than I originally anticipated. Not only was I in charge of demonstrating to voters how to vote correctly and offering them the audio ballot box, I was constantly switching jobs. From getting the signatures of voters, crossing out addresses, aiding voters with putting their ballots in the ballot box, and handing out “I Voted” stickers, I was kept busy all day (though I was given an hour break).

Overall, being a poll worker is an experience that I feel everyone should have. Yes, it was very hectic and, at times, frustrating. But, there was something about having a hand in helping our democracy that made it so fulfilling. Plus, as a student volunteer, I was paid $140 (which was about $11 per hour for a 16 hour shift). And, bonus, this paycheck increases from $11 an hour as you volunteer more and more.

If you are interested in participating in elections as a poll worker, please visit https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/poll-worker-information/ for more information.

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