Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Random Thoughts on Election Day

Just a couple of random thoughts and observations on Election Day:

RE: The 52nd District Race Between Jeff Frederick and Hilda Barg

I had to laugh at the Potomac News' editorial endorsement of Democrat Hilda Barg over GOP incumbent Jeff Frederick. It's something like this where the left-wing, pro-tax agenda of that formerly moving-towards-reason rag really comes through. Assuming you're even modestly non-ideological or objective, what kind of moron advocates exchanging a 30-year-old in the majority with a 72-year-old in the minority?

RE: Democrat Concern Over GOP GOTV Efforts

Worked as a poll watcher in the Henderson Precinct of Montclair today for about four-and-a-half hours. Interesting, and somewhat grueling. At one point, a poll worker approached me and said that some voters had complained because I had been "hovering." She was rather polite, and prefaced her comment with the statement that I had done nothing wrong or illegal.

Talk about intimidation! I can imagine a poll watcher less informed of his or her rights and duties --- I spent Election Day 2004 as one of six attorneys in the GOP legal "war room" in Cleveland, after all --- doing a less effective job after such a "warning." Fortunately, secure in the knowledge that: (1) I had, indeed, done nothing wrong; (2) the latest group of voters had very few names on my favorable list; and (3) Democrats in Ohio had tried the same tactics of intimidation against GOP poll watchers in Ohio in 2004, I politely pointed those facts out to the poll worker, who bothered me no more. And never mind that the only reason I was forced to do so was the fact that the poll workers --- who are doing a thankless job for very little pay --- were not fulfilling their duty to loudly and clearly call out the names and addresses of the voters, so that I wouldn't have to "hover."

An interesting example, though, of Democrat efforts to intimidate the GOP into abandoning an effective and lonely job in getting out identified GOP voters.

RE: And One More Thing About that Potomac News Endorsement of Barg

Talked to Amy Frederick at the poll, and the issue of that endorsement came up. She reminded me that they didn't seem to like Jeff because they thought he was using his office as a stepping stone to something else.

I've heard this song before, notably as a criticism of me when I ran for School Board. First question: what's wrong with that? Second question: since when does the Pot. News object to such individuals? That journal's enthusiasm for Chairman Sean continues unabated.

One can only conclude that this "criticism" was opportunistic. Just another example of feigning application of an objective criteria while simply looking for a way to trash a candidate you don't like for ideological reasons.


Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the voter having to clearly state their name and address? Is that still a rule?

I am not in PWC but for the last 2 years when I have voted, I have given them my ID and prepared to state my name and address. Instead, the one poll worker says it to the other poll worker after looking me up in the book.

Is this the new way to do it? You seem to be very "in the know" on these kinds of issues, so I thought I'd throw this out for comment. Thanks!

James Young said...

As to your first question, it is my understanding (from the instructions I received), that it is the rule. I suppose that clearly stating one's name and address is superfluous, when there are not poll watchers, but when there are, it is necessary and appropriate. Certainly, under the circumstances, where I was there as a poll watcher and the names and addresses were not being stated clearly, it is hardly an offense to hover.

To be fair to the poll worker who approached me (I think she was merely trying to allay what she might have perceived as a problem, rather than a cheap political tactic), she did immediately instruct those checking in voters to do it the right way.

criticallythinking said...

Two comments:
1) We had problems at our poll hearing the names as well. Some poll workers yelled out clearly, others not so loud, and since we were behind them it was hard to hear. They didn't have the voters saying the names, instead the voter would hand over their ID. Some said their name.

One last note- Anybody else have a hard time figuring out what the letters are in the "verification" stuff? Today I actually got them wrong 3 times once, and I already got this one wrong once.
I'm kind of hoping we've seen the end of that.

2) Your comments regarding the PNews is borne out by their comment in Hilda's endorsement that they hoped she wasn't using the position as a stepping-stone. When I read that I thought, are they crazy? What could a 70-year-old possibly be trying to "step up to'? Now I see it was just part of why the endorsed her.

They were quick though to congratulate Jeff.

James Young said...

"They were quick though to congratulate Jeff."

You know, I noticed this, too, and it was unexpected. Not sure what to make of it.