Poll worker training was last night! Mike Ashe is back on his feet and in fine form. None of the folks from my precinct were there, they must all be scheduled in other training sessions. Instead I had a nice chat with some people from another precinct. One was completely new. Not just to being a poll worker but to voting in NC; he just moved here from another state. At one point he asked a question that referenced voters being behind a curtain, although we don't use curtains here in NC.
The hand scanners at the ballot table are here to stay, apparently. They're used to make sure each voter gets the right ballot. I signed up for equipment training just in case I end up at the ballot table on the 2nd. At the request of my chief judge I'm already scheduled to do exceptions training, which means being able to help people who have a problem, are in the wrong place, need to use a provisional ballot, etc.
I have to admit I'm a little nervous about working the exceptions table. There's so much more responsibility, so many possible situations to deal with. At past election days, my job has always been so easy! I'd sit there saying "Please state your name and address. Thank you for voting!" all day long. On the other hand, it's nice to know that my chief judge thinks I can handle it.
There was also a disquieting rumor: someone at training said that she had also gone to a "poll watcher training" sponsored by the Republican party. She said the poll watcher training said that when the voter states their name and address out loud, which they are required by law to do, we the poll workers are required by law to repeat their name and address out loud. According to Mike Ashe this is not true. I hope there aren't any confrontations between poll workers and misinformed observers. They're not supposed to interfere with poll workers or with the voting process, they can't even hover behind us while we're working. I'm sure it will be fine.
Every year they encourage us to wear patriotic clothing (non partisan of course). I've never done it because everything suitable that I've ever seen was horrible kitch. Yesterday I finally found something patriotic, cute and non-tacky to wear: vintage barrettes from the 70s! I found them on Etsy: one has a flag design and one says "VOTE". They shipped today so I'll be sure to have them in time for election day. Yay!
I have to say, being a poll worker is such a great experience. It's fun, you get to meet your neighbors, you get to promote democracy, and work with nice people, and you get paid! It's the total package.