The election is finally over and replacing the tiresome TV ads are the it’s-too-soon Christmas ads, bypassing Thanksgiving as always.

Regardless of your feelings on the election results, time moves on and we election judges — I’m at the polls at Blythe Park School every election day — are just finishing up our assignment by answering an online survey. 

The survey gives the judges the chance to tell the powers that be how to make the voting process run smoother. In my long years as a judge, I can honestly say it has become much easier. 

Election judges are trained and try to do their best to assist at the polls in any way they can. Voters can make it easier for themselves in many ways. Here are some tips from the judge. 

If you have moved, re-register. Just because you registered once does not mean you do not have to re-register if your circumstances changed. Be prepared with identification in case it is necessary. 

If you have not voted for a period of time you are classified as “inactive,” so have at least two pieces of identification indicating your present address.

The biggest thing you most likely be called upon is your signature. You will be asked to sign your name before you vote, and the election judge will verify it with what is in the book. 

Granted, signatures change over the years, but people have a tendency to draw a line or a few circles and say that is there signature. That won’t prove it to me. It is my pet peeve, since I believe you should be proud of your name and make it clear for all to see (understand I think Palmer Penmanship should still be taught in schools). 

A fellow election judge was heard to say quite often on election day, “If that is how you sign your name now, I suggest you re-register with your new signature.”

Voters now have the option of voting early. You don’t need a reason; you just can. The polling places are convenient and so are the hours. Of course, there are those who enjoy the experience of voting in their own precincts; you get to see friends and neighbors and if you’re lucky there will be a bake sale from the school PTA.

Election Day November 2014 is officially over and we look forward to next spring’s village elections in 2015. 

Remember to be kind to your local election judges. They have worked hard and arrive at the polls at 5 a.m. Don’t you wish you had read this before Election Day?