12 interesting things about being a precinct election official (in a past election)

1. The Montgomery county Board of Elections has two locks on it – one for Democrats and one for Republicans – this is to ensure that no party enters the office without both parties being present.

2. Trash at polling places, on election day, is kept until the Secretary of State certifies the election. This is to make sure no ballots were intentionally thrown away. Yes, this includes all garbage including food. 

3. Every person you see working at your polling place must identify as either a democrat or a republican. There should be equal amounts of both parties. You cannot identify as independent as a precinct election official.

4. When you see two people working together at your polling place (or standing next to each other) – one of them is a democrat and one is a republican. This to ensure that neither party does something scandalous.

 5. You cannot use a passport as your election ID. This is because your passport does not have your address listed on it. A utility bill would suffice.

6. If you don’t have your ID you can vote provisionally – you then have 72 hours to prove to the Montgomery county board of elections that you live where you say you live. Otherwise your ballot is invalid.

7. If you are a precinct official – you hate provisional ballots – because they are confusing and a pain to deal with. 

8. Precinct election officials have to work the full day – so this is from, roughly, 5:30am – 8:30pm with an hour off for good behavior. This is to ensure a smooth voting process and to prevent one shift accusing the other shift of irregularities.

9. The election results must be delivered to the Montgomery county board of elections by both a democrat and a republican. 

10. You actually get paid to be an election official – something I didn’t know when I first ‘volunteered’ for it – but it’s not much.

11. They changed the name from poll workers to precinct election official for obvious reasons – though election officials still get complimented for ‘working the polls’. We get it – we’re reasonable people.

12. Finally – want to know how your polling precinct voted? You can find out right after the election is over and all ballots have been printed – they will be posted on the door outside of your polling area.