Saturday, October 28, 2006

Diary of a Mad Poll-Worker, Part One

Since I've been covering many of the controversies about current electronic voting technologies, I've decided to go behind the scenes this year and learn about the electoral process from the point of view of a typical front line poll worker.

For my trouble, I'll receive $105, a lunch and dinner break, and the opportunity to report back to others about the process. Maybe I've read too many Barbara Ehrenreich books, because I'm sure that I'll regret my decision when I'm staggering in the door of my local Red Cross building at 5:45 AM. Apparently, there is also a lot that can go wrong on your watch.

At my polling place, we won't have touch screen voting, but we will have the jazzy Inkavote Plus, which has a computerized reader to check for ballot errors (such as overvoting) and an audio booth feature with "Nintendo-style" arrows for use by the hearing impaired or for speakers of Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese.

Check back for updates as I do my training session with the other poll-workers or show up for duty on Tuesday next week.



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