The Day I Didn’t Think About Politics

Confession: I am obsessed with news and politics. I listen to and read the news often, I am subscribed or more political and news politics than I care to admit, and, like most people, this past November, regardless of your political affiliation, I’d be willing to bet that politics was on your mind. But the one day I did not think about politics, was Election Day.

For the past 3 Election Days I have worked as a polling inspector at my local town hall. Serving as an inspector

Abby made VOTE masks for herself and her fellow polling inspectors!

Abby made VOTE masks for herself and her fellow polling inspectors!

is both fun and exhausting. The shift begins at 5:30 a.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m. (with 2 45-minutes breaks). At my location there are four precincts, and four people are assigned to each precinct—two Democrats and two Republicans. I worked alongside a college freshman, a recently retired teacher, and a woman in her late seventies. We got to know each other (after all we were spending 15 hours together), and no one talked politics!

Throughout the day we greeted voters, checked them in, gave them their ballots, directed them to the voting machines, handed out voting stickers, and constantly worked to sanitize the pens, tables, and privacy booths. The day was busy, and as voters came and went some people made their political affiliations clear, but most did not. So many thanked us for being there and shared their appreciation for a smooth and safe process.

Occasionally throughout the day I would check my phone, read about early election returns, but mainly it was a day for community, not politics. That evening, when everyone was getting a little tired, my husband came to visit with homemade snickerdoodle cookies. Everyone loved them, and we chatted about our favorite cookie recipes and what we planned to cook for the holidays.