I awoke at 3:30am (AZ time) and arrived at the polling station at 4:15. I was thirty minutes earlier than the Poll Inspector (the show-runner, if you will). It was my first time working an election site. I had made the call to the county elections board on Monday to be a part of this process. I volunteered to work at a site way out of my own voting area just to be part of the process. It reminded me so much of my time in public safety (a story for a future thread), with all the waiting and sitting for something to happen. The somewhat-heated debate with another poll worker about his Pizza-gate/pedophile ring-believing bullshit (I’ll get there) withstanding.
We set up the site and opened on time at 6am. I knew the area of town well enough to know the demographic I should expect: mostly rural-type white people. The majority of the poll workers alongside me were LatinX and just wonderful people. It was a sight to behold even during the extended lulls in visitors.
Full disclosure: I am Black and Latino. I am a Lefty. I want to defund the police and military. I believe that the money removed from these DEEP coffers should go towards public education, including free university, and universal healthcare. I want the Green New Deal with no caveats. There, that’s out of the way.
I worked the Special Situations table. This is where voters whose information does not match the Voter Roll (address discrepancies on their ID’s vs. the Roll mostly) so they need to fill in a Provisional Ballot. Their vote still counts like normal, just with a bit more scrutiny. Take that as you will.
The Q-Anon believing dude, Jim (not his real name) was the first in line for receiving voters. If they had discrepancies, he passed them directly to me. To remind you, I got there very early and didn’t leave until 8:15pm (polls closed at 7pm). My discussion with Jim began at 11am. The day went by briskly!
Just kidding. Ugh.
He started with the McMartin Preschool trial and that he knew a former FBI agent that investigated afterwards. Underground tunnels that lead to no convictions then he moved on to Pizza-gate and that pedophile ring. Jeffrey Epstein was mentioned several times. I’m starting to believe that Q-Anon really has a thing for pedophilia (ya think?!).
He moved onto why he voted for Trump and will again. This is where I come in. I asked him why?
“He’s the most unjustly vilified leader in U.S. history.”
I asked if he believed Mango Unchained is racist?
“We’re ALL racist.”
I asked if he believed that Obama was born in the U.S.?
“Pelosi, Schumer, and some other Dems signed off on Obama’s eligibility to run for president. No, I don’t believe he was born here.”
Me: “There were 42 presidents before him, because Cleveland counts twice, and NONE of them were ever questioned on their birthplace. You don’t find it odd that he was the first black president and first to be questioned on his birthplace? That the current president led that charge? Not even a little bit of sprinkled-in-to-add-flavor racism?”
Jim began to spout off about pedophilic-rings, George Soros(!), Hillary(!!), and that Democrats were the real racists because they started the Klan.
Enough about Jim, but thank you for reading this far.
Even with all that and the nearly 17 hour day, I really did enjoy the experience of taking part in the democratic process. No, really.
I do not share this story to deter you idealists or supporters of civic duty, not in the least. Jim’s way of thinking can be found anywhere, unfortunately.
Let me tell you about Rosa. She was the Poll Inspector. Rosa has been doing this for nearly 20 years and she loves it. She told me she’s met several people like Jim over the years. She can’t change their ideology and they know how to work at the site and that is all she cares about regarding them. She loves being a part of the process, meeting people from the community, and talking about the things they care about most in the community. Rosa’s only concern yesterday was making sure everyone able to vote had the opportunity to do so.
She made me feel welcome and as if I had been a part of her crew all this time. If I am able to go back and do it again, I hope to be with her team. Even Jim.
Remember McSquirrel and VOTE!