I was a pollwatcher yesterday.
I had a list of voters provided by the county Democratic organization who had been vetted somehow (Lord knows how) and shown to be friendly to our goals. I was to mark off each as they voted, then take a list of the ones who hadn't voted to the precinct house for further phone follow up. Also, I was to monitor for electoral malfeasance. Unlike the experience of Mark Harris at PRELUDIUM, who did the same thing as I, there was no Republican pollwatcher.
I'll get back to that.
But I will tell you now that being amidst all of the people who had turned out to exercise their rights as citizens was incredibly buoying. I was there at 0645 and when I heard the head poll judge shout at 7, "The polls are open!" I felt a thrill flash through my entire body. Four precincts were voting in the same large space, and I know that the two precincts I was aware of ran 300 voters through in the first hour.
Totally insane, but so great.
The election judges with whom I worked were very aloof at first (who can blame them?), but softened as the morning went on. They became annoyed with me toward the end as I answered a question from a voter that they thought I should have referred to them, which I probably should have, but since the information had been on the front page of the paper that morning it did not occur to me to not answer it. They glared at me until I apologized.
I realized that there was no Republican pollwatcher because of the supreme confidence they had that they would win all of the local elections. Which, unfortunately, they did. Some local Democrats even lost their seats. I do live in Republicanland.
Maybe if we hadn't been so distracted by the abortion issue, we could have worked harder for our local progressives. But, we did win the Big Prize!