Election Day 2020 has come, has gone, and has left many Americans worried about the future. Personally, working as a poll challenger in St. Louis County was one of the best experiences I’ve had since the start of Covid.
Voting in St. Louis County was quick, efficient, and transparent. A remarkable feat since the county had purchased all new equipment this year.
- You could vote at any poling place in the county
- Poll workers could scan your driver’s id to confirm your identify
- Ballots were printed when you checked in
- A republican and democrat election judge confirmed your identity and initialed your ballot
- A combo pen/stylus was provided so you could sign at the touch screen and fill out your ballot
- If you were registered to vote you could update your address right at the poll
It must of taken me 15 minutes from arriving at the polling place to finishing, but that was not the case in all poling places.
If more states and counties adopt this system we would be in better off come the next contested election.
Working at the poling place was similar, the workers were polite, friendly, and enthusiastic. By the end of the day we were joking together while breaking down the polling station, and happy about a job well done.
Over the course of the day I didn’t see any sign of corruption or wide spread technical issues. The closest we can to disaster was running low on printer toner. A refill arrived quickly, but we made it though the day without needing to use it.
It was a day of citizens exercising their rights and a system rising to that challenge.
Do You Remember America?⌗
Like many people 2020 has reduced my social interactions and left me glued to news feeds watching the latest outrage, and agonising over vote totals. I’m not usually someone who worries, but I think 2020 would make anyone nervous about the future.
Working that day was a wonderful breath of fresh air. It reminded me of that idea of America you have when you’re young.
You know the one.
It’s the same feeling you still get at your 4th of July picnic when the fireworks start. It’s that swelling of pride you feel when you reread the Declaration of Independence. It’s that odd mix of patriotism where you can condom the sins of the past and proclaim the greatness of their scarifies and achievements.
In a small gymnasium I found a piece of that America.
It was completely ordinary and utterly extraordinary.
I don’t think the coming months will be our finest hour as a country. The edges are fraying and it seems that the center cannot hold.
Find your own little corner of that extraordinarily ordinary America and grab it with both hands, you’ll be glad you did.