As I previously wrote on my blog and stated on my radio show regarding this years past election; my scathing contempt would be exclusively reserved not for the politician (its been done before) but for the voter.
The Town of Malta race for Supervisor could not be a more perfect example of this. The race was between incumbent Paul Sausville and candidate Cynthia Young. Ms. Young has allegedly lost by only one vote.
Young is smartly appealing the outcome of the election. Young claims that two voters that had allegedly voted for her were disenfranchised. The ballots were disqualified because the voters had written on them and that is against the rules. I sympathize with Ms. Young but I disagree.
The voters were not disenfranchised, they were merely ignorant of what the rules are.
This happens in every election. The voter is often misinformed, confused and dare I say ignorant of the process of voting. I know this because I have worked as an election inspector in previous elections.
Many voters are completely unaware that they are given three chances to vote. If you make a mistake on your ballot you can receive another one. If you make another mistake, you can receive another ballot. Election inspectors warn the voter that if they spoil another ballot (like filling in too many ovals or writing on the ballot) they will not receive another one. They are always surprised by this. They shouldn't be. But so many Americans are completely ignorant of the voting and political process.
During Primaries there are always voters of the opposite political party who try to vote. They become angry when they are turned away and they falsely believe that they are being...wait for it... disenfranchised. Example: If it is a Republican Primary, Democrats are not allowed to vote and vice versa. That is the law. That is the process.
Just as there are motorists who should not be driving, there are many examples of people who should not be voting. Don't believe me? Call the Board of Elections in Saratoga County at 885-2249 and sign up to take a class so you can become a poll watcher or election inspector. Its a rather eye opening experience. You will see ignorance and stupidity in action all day long.
There are sample ballots at each and every table at your polling place. If you are unsure about what to do you can ask the election inspector to assist you. The election inspector can tell you what the rules are but they are not allowed to fill in the ovals for you. (You would be amazed at how many voters ask the election inspectors to do this) Many voters will come in and ask the election inspectors who to vote for. I wish I were making this up.
Unfortunately, we have a flawed election system. Less flawed than other countries but flawed nonetheless.
I encourage everyone to work as an election inspector. You are paid $25 to take the class. If you work a primary you will get paid $100 and the general election pays $175. You are also given $10 in cash for lunch on election day. It is a educational experience for sure and I think every voter should have to do it at least once. You will experience the voting process up close and personal and see your fellow Americans incompetence first hand. Below are some of the things election inspectors are taught. Every voter should know the difference.
The outcome of the Malta Supervisor race is an interesting one but it all boils down to THE VOTER. Voters are either informed or uniformed. It is a rather painful lesson for Ms. Young.
Voters may write in any persons
name as long as that name isn’t already on the ballot. (Mickey Mouse has been a
popular favorite for years)
If a voter makes a mistake, the
voter must surrender the ballot in order to receive a new one. Voters are
allowed to void two ballots; the third ballot will be the voter’s last ballot
and will be hand counted at the end of the night.
If the voter abandons the ballot
in the privacy booth or anywhere else at the site the ballot CANNOT be counted.
An affidavit ballot is used when:
The voter’s poll record is missing and they claim to be a registered
voter in that election district.
In the case of a Primary and the voter claims to political party other
then the one indicated in the poll book.
The voter appears to belong in that district and needs to show I.D but
doesn’t have any.
The voter is currently registered in the county but recently moved to
The Affidavit ballot voter will be given a ‘NOTICE
TO VOTERS’ to explain their options to cast their vote by Affidavit or Court
Order. If the voter wants a Court Order the election inspector is required to
call the Board of Elections for further instructions.
If you are interested in becoming an election
inspector call the Board of Elections at 885-2249.