Friday, June 28, 2024

Think Globally, Act Locally

After watching last night's debate i'm so disgusted with politics i feel like I'm the grass under the feet of Some dragons having a fight on TV.  So I'm going to go back to one of the phrases I learned back in college.

Think globally, act locally

Last week and for a week back in the Spring i worked early voting and then was coordinator at my local polling place an election day. We really considered this a practice election for the general election come November so we were going through the motions... Doing everything right and making sure we did everything by the book. But just because we have to do everything by the book doesn't mean we can't make voters feel joyous.  There was some moments of joyity.

There Isn't much on the ballot in the June primary. So much not on the ballot that some people showed up to vote and didn't have a contest. It turned out that the polling place where I was assigned to work early voting had a geographic location so that half the people who lived in that district where they could vote there didn't actually have any candidates to vote for. The polling place was at one end of the district. So if you lived east of where I was working you voted in the primary for both state assembly and United States Congress. But, if you lived west of where I was working you didn't have anyone on the ballot at all. So if I typed out your name it would come up and say no contest. To make it even more confusing they're had recently been redistricting. So the candidate who was running for re-election for Congress who was flush with funds sent mail to everyone who who could have voted for him before they were redistricted out of his district. (I just really read that and it does sound confusing. But basically, they were plenty of people who walked in and by no fault of their own had no one to vote for.)

So on the second day of early voting a whole family showed up to vote. Two parents, with their 5ish-year-old and 8ish-year-old. But it turned out they didn't have anyone to vote for and the five-year-old started crying because she wanted a future voter sticker. I jumped up and got her a sticker. "Of course you are a future voter and entitled to a sticker Just because your parents aren't voting today doesn't mean you're not a future voter..." i gave the sticker to her older sister as well and then turn to their parents...." you both also get future voter stickers Just because you have no primary election today doesn't mean you don't get to come back here in November and vote."

The next day a husband and wife came into vote. The wife walked up to the table to my right and the husband walked up to my table. She was handed a ballot. But, when I typed in the husband's name my screen told me he didn't have a contest. I had to inform him that because he was a registered Republican he couldn't work in the Democratic primary...There would be Republicans on the ballot in November but none of them were running in a primary against each other. His wife turned to him and snapped "I told you so!" I then reached into my pile of stickers and gave him a future voter sticker. Then, before we can tell her photography was not allowed in the polling place she snapped a picture of him wearing the sticker. I'm sure she instantly put it up on her family Facebook page.

After that the Coordinator commented to me that I walked right up to the line of inappropriateness as a election day worker. I told him I don't walk up to the line, I danced up to the line. And he told me that's why he likes it that I'm sitting next to him It makes the day go better.

But seriously, I'm proud to say I do more than just help voters on election day. I'm a member of the accessible voting advisory committee and meet with the Board of Elections on a regular basis representing the needs of people with disabilities in the city of New York. Change and improvements come in incremental ways and while I was working at the election site I was able to see something that I helped make happen.

Because of my work on the committee I was able to create a new sign to be hung in every polling place and hopefully it'll actually be in the doorway of every polling place come next year. In the lower right hand corner of the sign it indicates a circle with a red line through it indicating that pets are not permitted in the polling place. It kind of shows a symbol that says no dogs cats or rabbits. And in the bottom of the sign it shows someone holding a cane and a dog on a rigid leash, kind of indicating that service animals are allowed

in past years the sign just showed an x through a picture of a person holding a dog and it wasn't really clear that people can bring in service animals this is the old sign.

I don't expect this change in the sign to keep everyone from bringing their pet into the polling place. But some people might not bring in their pet after seeing the sign. And if and when the sun gets placed in the doorway the people working at the entrance could point at it and remind people they can't bring their pets into the polling place. Change comes slowly, and I've learned not to let perfection get in the way of better.

Anyway, well being a poll worker I get to go into the local high school and the grade school that my kids went to and I snapped these pictures to remind myself that the next generation of New Yorkers is getting better. Below, is a sampling of the posters hanging on the wall in the high school and in the grade school. Positive messages that do not include the Ten Commandments. I'm confident that young children today are going to grow up slightly better then the young children of the 60s and 70s when I went to school.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You do not have to be nice!

This is not me

This is not me
Not me.

Blog Archive