On November 1, 3, and 4, I served as an election judge at the Athmar Recreation Center in Denver. I was a machine judge, responsible for setting up, monitoring, and securing two voting machines at Athmar, required for use by persons who have difficulty with printed ballots.
I also was a judge for the last General Election in 2012, when I helped voters obtain the proper ballot for their precinct. The process then involved looking voters up in printed books. This time, the voter lists were computerized. There were the inevitable glitches, but no voter was denied the right to vote.
I was not very busy as a machine judge. In three days, the machines were used five times. I got a lot of reading done. I also worked at the table with the ballot boxes, helping voters cast their ballots and insuring security of the ballot boxes. Voters also got I Voted stickers. Those who came in to vote had lost their mail-in ballot or wanted to change a selection after they marked it in ink and ruined the ballot. No one said the dog ate their ballot.
Athmar also had a ballot drop-off station in the street in front of the Recreation Centers. Voters were able to drop off their ballots without getting out of their cars. I spent time out there as well, a welcome break from sitting at a table.
My fellow election judges were a delight to work with. Knowledgeable, helpful, dedicated, and friendly, they helped voters and helped the time go faster. There was one who was a bit annoying, but that is the case in any setting. I think I have been the annoying one at times.
A big part of the job is setting everything up before the polls open, and securing everything after the polls close. There is a lot of stuff needed at a polling place. Handling all that stuff is big, but assuring the security of all the ballots is the most important part. The voting machines had several kinds of seals that had recorded numbers we tracked to prevent any tampering. Each morning and evening the seals were checked and their numbers recorded.
There were other judges who handled the ballot boxes. They were locked open, seals applied, closed and locked when full and new seals applied. It would be very difficult to tamper with ballot boxes with all the security measures. There was also a police officer on site.
The big thing? The money! I was paid $10.00/hour for four hours training, and $11.00/hour for the election. About 28 hours as a judge. What a deal. Our supervisor had served four 17 years for that kind of money. That is dedication.
Saturday and Monday were fine. Tuesday, Election Day, went from 6:30 AM until 8:00 PM. That is one long day. It took the rest of the week to recover. Will I do it again? I’m not sure. I enjoyed it, but it sure is a strain for an old guy.