Tone-in-oz just doing it anyway

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Done my bit for democracy today

Well, I may have missed jury duty ‘cos I was on an oil rig, and then when I was ready, they didn’t need me. What a come down.
But. I did not mind doing something civic, gotta look after our version of democracy.
Well, the electoral commission did take up my offer this time as a citizen wanting to do his civic duty. And it is well paid too: to number off and count the punters offerings to the gods of chance- 15 hours work!
The standing around can be a pain, the slow times sitting waiting for the punters is advanced time wasting too. Some people are so rude!
But to be a part of this process was to be an insight into the other side of the democratic process.
Not just turn up and scratch a few numbers and nick off, but to process voters, mark them off the roll, to be there as part of the huge public turnout.
To see people I knew and say hello, and to catch up with a few words to old acquaintances.
The first ten minutes was a bit of a shocker, getting the routine down, wishing I had had a few minutes brush up on some procedures, but I did not take too long to get right into it.
There was no buzz of revolution, some were so bored and or annoyed at the compulsory requirement. I think that is a bit selfish, I bet they would not want a degradation of the local hospital, or roads, and this is just a ‘good’
And AJ took part in his first election. Just had to get Fzledazzler to wake him up- 2pm!!! And proud to see him there, couldn’t keep from smiling with pride. I just caught him on a break too.
One of the procedures is to ask the punter whether they have voted in the election already. What? And the typical answer was, “No, why would I do that, once is enough”. I’d rule their name off and then give them their marked forms, and send them off to scratch something on them, saying Don’t leave them in the booth and mark the forms as directed!
A funny voters form was noticed in the count later- one part was marked ’1′ in all the boxes. Another had a squiggly figure five times instead of the preferences.
The tiring part was leaning over a table that was too low. My knees and back and thighs and quads are all tight. Can’t have everything.
I would do it again, I feel good for doing it.
The team leader was professional, there were a couple of beginners like me, and the team on the polling booth worked well for never having met before.
each other before.
Yeah, done my bit for Oz democracy today.

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