Saturday, November 3, 2012

Op-ed:

Day two as a poll watcher...and the nonsense continues
By: Diane Sori


Yesterday I was a poll watcher at the same Early Voting site as the day before.  After seeing fraud trying to be committed on Thursday, I really thought all the t’s would be crossed and the i’s dotted on Friday, because they knew I would be watching very closely.  

Were they...NO WAY!

The first of Friday’s fiascoes happened when the poll opened at 7am, and this is a biggie...one of the two ballot printers was NOT working.  It worked fine at closing the night before but ‘suddenly’ less than 12 hours later after having been shut down for the night, it NO longer worked.  And when it went down the license verifying machine went down with it also...as in the machine that verifies the voter’s ID.

How convenient is that.

The line at 7am was long, and people got there early to be in and out in time for work, but with only one machine working a simple 15 minute to half hour wait stretched to about 2-1/2 hours even after the machine was fixed by 8:30 am.  This delay forced many to leave because they had to get to work and therefore didn’t get to vote.  Hopefully, they will come back again or vote on Election Day.

And this delay at opening caused the lines to backup all day, causing people, including the elderly and handicapped, to have to wait in line in the hot Florida sun for up to 2+ hours to vote.  And herein lies the second problem of the day.

By the time the handicapped and elderly got inside to vote many were shaking and on the verge of collapse from waiting so long and being dehydrated.  One older lady, very overweight and appearing to be diabetic, looked like she was ready to collapse and said she felt ill.  I immediately told her to sit down on one of the empty poll watcher chairs, and for that I was chastised for talking to a voter (which I’m NOT supposed to do as a poll watcher) but come on...this lady was NOT in good shape and all I was trying to do was help her NOT tell her who to vote for.

I ignored the worker chastising me and told her I was going to ask the woman in charge of the polling site for a bottle of water as drinking a bit would help her feel better.  I went to the desk and asked if I could have a bottle explaining the situation to her and my answer was, “We are NOT allowed to give out water to anybody except the poll workers.”

I was totally shocked by this response as the woman in charge then went to the back room, got herself another bottle of water (the bottle on her desk was only half empty), and sat there at her desk in plain sight of both the older lady and myself happily sipping away.  The insensitivity going on here was appalling for I don’t give a damn what her orders were...if someone is in distress and asking for water giving them water is just the humane and right thing to do.

And oh yes, least I forget when I said the older lady felt faint from dehydration the woman in charge’s response to me was, “if she passes out we’ll just call the paramedics.”

OMG...have party politics turned us into a nation of uncaring nasty people who don’t give a damn about our fellow citizens...have we become so jaded by this election and taking sides that we’ve forgotten simple compassion...it appears some poll workers sure have.

Thankfully, just sitting in the air conditioning for a bit allowed the older lady to recover enough to vote, albeit she was still somewhat shaky.  When she left, the woman in charge came over to me and said it was the older lady’s fault for what happened because she knew the lines would be long and should have brought water herself.  I really wanted to spit in her face but kept my cool so as NOT to cause a scene, but I did get her name and she knew exactly why I asked for it.  

Anyway, as the afternoon went on I saw how wrong the Early Voting system really is in that it makes NO allowances for the elderly or the handicapped.  There are NOT enough handicapped parking spaces, the handicapped and elderly are forced to stand in line in the heat when they should be allowed to sit and wait in the coolness of the polling place (remember their numbers are extremely small compared to the general population of voters on line), and even when given their ballot they can wait up to a half hour (or more) to actually vote.  

Something needs to be done about this for next time...it’s the compassionate and right thing to do.

So the bottom line is that between witnessing tried for but unsuccessful voter fraud on Thursday, and downed machines and rude and uncaring poll workers on Friday, I really hope that this type of attitude and uncaring actions changes after we vote the chief troublemaker of all out of office.  After all, these sad behaviors have been fueled by the rhetoric coming from Barack HUSSEIN Obama, his cronies, and minions.

Yes, it is time for a change and on November 6th 'We the People' will see to it that that change does indeed happen.