Election Judge Notes

I’ve been an election judge on the Northern Illinois University campus for two years now. If memory serves our precinct got 62 votes in the 2006 General, “winning” the “contest” over the other three precincts stationed at the Recreation Center. From then it was all downhill, the lowlight having only 4 or 5 ballots rattling around the ballot transfer box by the end of the IL-14 special Congressional last spring.

Then yesterday we helped 334 young voters cast their ballots, and the precinct next to us tallied close to 600.

Most were first-timers who had registered within the past two months so we did not have the usual delays associated with their having moved once or twice since registration. In fact it was phenomenally glitch-free considering the numbers involved. The noon hour brought lines, during which time we informed students that waiting for a booth was an option according to their preferences for privacy. Some then took seats along the corridor wall across from the precinct tables, and I noticed these “open-air voters” were much more likely to come back to us with questions; e.g., did they have to vote for on judges they knew nothing about.

We also had more than the usual numbers of pollwatchers. A few were great–particularly some of the veteran watchers who arrived bearing enormous quantitities of food-based gifts–but some were real trouble. I would like for anyone considering this role to LEARN AND FOLLOW THE RULES. When it comes to election integrity, RULES IS ALL WE’VE GOT.

But I digress. This is about the kids–who behaved wonderfully, BTW. The sleeping tiger of national politics has awakened and I am happy to have witnessed a part of it.

Were the students happy with the election results? See for yourself:

Part 2 is here.

Another view.

17 thoughts on “Election Judge Notes”

  1. Who in the world would want to be an election Judge?

    Havig to report to work by 5:00am and work without break or leaving your work station until after 7:00pm. That is usually over a 14 hours straight working for less than minimum wage?. Not being able to leave for food or other breaks? Sometimes dealing with angree customers.

    The answer of course is only the ” best” people our country has.

    I, for one, commend your service.


  2. Here here Pevo. I agree! Thanks so much yinn for your service to the community. There are way too few people in the world, willing to take the time to help out… and way too many who are willing to let them! ;)

    Thanks for being one of the few.

  3. Thank you, Pevo and Gracie. I am blessed with a schedule that allows for it. And there is a big perq: getting to hang out with people from all walks of life who are very knowledgeable and intensely interested in local politics. I love that part, just as I do here at citybarbs.

  4. They could have used Yinn in Broward County back in 2000 . . . .

    Off topic: Can anyone confirm or deny the rumor that there were eight arrests at DeKalb High School last week? That is almost an average of two per day.

  5. Actually, what I’m hearing through the teenager grapevine is that the local police hit the high school for a drug check. The grapevine and this is teenager rumor is that over a half a dozen students were busted because they were carrying, either on or in their lockers. Not sure why the local paper didn’t pick it up or why the school district isn’t talking. Either to disspell the rumors or confirm. This is why people don’t trust the school staff and administration. No transparency in anything they do. I hope it’s only rumor.

  6. I don’t know if this is the case at DHS but at another high school I have knowledge of the policy was that the school hired the K-9 and the officer for a couple hours in order to do the checks privately, then the results were refered to the school’s own disciplinary process where the students would have to take drug treatment and submit to future drug tests in leiu of being sent to court. Kind of an alternative process to the legal system that gives the students a chance to clean up their act before it becomes a police matter.

  7. I know others will disagree BUT

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the things to be seized”

    I do not feel a mass search of everyone by the government to see who is breking the law, even if diverted from the system, is a good idea.


  8. I will disagree only a little. No one should show up at my door, nor should anyone stop me in the street, but if I enter the airport or government property (like a school), then I have to play by their rules.

    My house. My rules.

    Their house. Their rules.

    I hate the whole shoes thing at their airport, especially at Heathrow.

  9. It is the school’s property, including the lockers…
    Also it is standard practice for students and their parent to sign something when they first enter the school to abide by the school’s handbook, and a provision of that is consent to search.

  10. I’d say if your choices are to “consent” or to find another school, it’s not really consent.

    Also, tax bills make clear that school property is our property.

    Now I know that security (and the security industry) trumps all nowadays, but as an American I reserve the right to shed a tear at probable cause being tossed out the window.

  11. Kay and Anon

    My point is that I see a big difference in going through a security check point that’s basic purpose is the protection of others as compared to a search on my locker, papers, backpacks etc that have nothing to do with security but rather to see if I am in posssesion of drugs.

    P.S. What if a parent refused to sign the consent agreement, would that child not be allowed to attend public school.


  12. Yeah, I understand your points, Pevo. I hear nothing but horror stories from parents who have kids at DeKalb High School. It is to the point to where everyone’s safety is at risk. I hear horror stories such as when kids beat up another kid in the bathroom with a baseball bat, and kids blocked the door so no one could get in. There have been lots of fires. One of the kids starting the fires lives in my neighborhood and one of my neighbors caught him starting one on someone’s porch.

    The people running the schools can blame the No Child Left Behind restrictions for why the high school continues to fail yearly progress and make excuses. But, how can anyone get taught properly if they are starting fires and beating up other kids? For the good kids, how can they learn in that kind of an environment? I believe they believe that a new high school will solve those kinds of problems. I seriously doubt it. Maybe these youngsters will learn to behave better:


    It would be nice if there was a way for parents and kids to share the horror stories, to see which ones of them are true. Obviously, the newspapers are not covering those stories.

  13. Hey all, they back in the day shut down our school, for the friday proceeding a weekend, not only to install metal dectectors, but to run the drug and weapons dogs thru the school, if you think its bad here, (yes it can get worse)

    Try my old High School.

    Elgin High school 1200 maroon Dr, Elgin IL.

    I got to personally witness someone get stabbed on the front doorstep of the school (yes gang related), White supremacist, vs a latino gang, not sure which one..

    But that person who did the stabbing (white guy) was not caught until the gang related go their revenge in 1st period in the school gym locker room..

    Masterlocks, do A LOT of damage to a persons skull… again witnessed, this as well..

    So needless to say I become an ANON, witness when I got to tell me story to the officers at the time…

    it was not fun…

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