This past Tuesday I didn’t vote on primary day, I worked the polls as a CRO, which I think means computer resource operator. Mississippi has the most sophisticated voting machines that I have ever seen. Touch screen machines that are only able to be used after a smart card has been programmed for them to use to initiate the machine. I was ‘hired’ to work the polls by April (my friend’s wife who is a year round member of the county election committee because she knows I am pretty good with computers. It also helps that I am retired as most poll workers are retired as they can be available all day to work the polls. The workers are paid for their time (slightly more than minimum wage) but I was very impressed that many of the other 7 people have been doing it for years more as a civic duty than for the money.
I did vote by absentee ballot before election day as by being a poll worker I had to be at my assigned voting place an hour before the start time of 7 am until after poll closing time of 7 pm to ’tally’ the votes and bring them to the election headquarters in Yazoo City. My wife had been ‘hired’ by April as well for another voting site in the county. An irony in our votes was that only after we had voted we discovered that we voted for separate candidates, effectively canceling out our votes.
It was a very interesting experience working the polls as I saw many people in Yazoo City I already knew and got to know my fellow poll workers as the voting turn out is pretty light and there is a lot of down time.