Saturday, February 12, 2005

Training Day

Yesterday, I went to the training class for the election. The time and place had gotten a little mixed up. I thought I had a dentist appointment on the eighth, so I had it rescheduled for yesterday. (It turns out that the appointment was actually today.) When I got the card, it was actually at a different location and it was still on the eighth. Fortunately, I was able to call back and get it rescheduled.

The training isn’t that bad. It’s supposed to last three hours, but sometimes, the instructor can get you out in less time. I’m not really sure why we need to do this each time. I was told that it’s because of the fiasco a few elections back where South Florida got a lot of negative publicity. I don’t care; I’m getting paid for it. It’s just that a lot of the information is the same.

I’m glad that I went, though. It turns out that there is something for me to vote on. There’s a countywide question about slot machines. I have to go to the Web site to see exactly what it is. I also have to go there to find out where the early-voting sites are. Since I won’t be working in my home precinct, I have to either vote by absentee ballot or vote early.

Not a lot of people know about early voting. Anyone that’s a registered voter in Miami-Dade County can go to any of these sites and vote, regardless of where you live. There are only a dozen sites each election, but it still works out better. I think that this is actually one of the benefits of the new machines; it’s actually possible to have every potential ballot on one machine. I think if more people knew about this, more people would vote. Come Election Day, you’ll have to vote in your own precinct, though. (If you show up in the wrong precinct, you can vote a provisional ballot, but it won’t count.)

Anyway, about the class…

The first thing we had to do was watch a DVD about sensitivity. It’s actually not that bad. It was the same one I had seen last time, though. I think after a few elections, it’s going to get redundant, but I think it’s worth it for those that are just starting out. The production was done pretty well.

Most of the class is going through a booklet and going over procedure. Very little of it changes from election to election. The first time I went to one of these classes, I was nervous; it was my first election and they had made me assistant clerk right off the bat. At first, I thought that assistant clerk was the lowest level. The truth was that of the dozen or so people that had worked that first election, only one had had any prior experience, and it wasn’t the clerk.

Anyway, that’s all behind me. Now, all there is to do is to wait until March 8 and show up at 5:45 a.m.

No comments :