We’ll just call this column the aftermath of the primary election. It is now safe to answer the phone without receiving a recorded message plugging a candidate, and there is more room in the mailbox now that campaign literature isn’t taking up the space.
As one who is an early voter, I find myself replying to the recorded message, “Too late, I already voted.”
Of course, they don’t know that, but it does give me some satisfaction. I would venture a guess that we received mail or calls that equaled close to the number of voters in the precinct where I am an election judge.
Jane Fremgen and I have been judges together for a number of years in Precinct 8 at Blythe Park School, and we have it almost down to a science. Over the years there have been many changes to improve the system and they are almost there.
One of the best moves has been instituting a program of having high school students serve as election judges. Student judges are approved by their high schools and are given the information on how to sign up to become an election judge. They go through the same procedure all judges go through, whether they are new or veteran judges.
They take an on-line training course followed by a class at an assigned place, which lasts almost four hours. The training sessions include a short lecture and small group hands-on training followed by a hands-on test and a written test. You are graded on both tests.
Our student judges in Precinct 8 were James (Jamie) Christopher and Tatiana Roman, students at Riverside-Brookfield High School and RBHS graduate Mia Corpuz, now attending Northwestern University. They did their jobs well and learned much about the voting process.
It is a long day beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after the polls close at 7 p.m. By that time the judges have dealt with everything from explaining to voters why they must declare a party in a primary to fixing machines which may need minor repairs, taking care of any electioneering which may occur, as well as greeting voters.
This year with some switches in precinct assignments, some voters had to be directed to their new polling places. All in all, it went well.
So now it will be calm for a while. Most of the campaign signs have been tossed or saved for November when we will begin again with the phone calls and the mailings.
But that is the process, and aren’t we glad we have it?