Pollworkers should be celebrated as gods...


'nuff said.

Go Vote!

elections, politics, photos, policy
A picture of 4 boxes of ballots, a ballot box full of supplies and an american flag fit into a shopping cart

Go vote, you won't regret it.

And consider being a pollworker in the future.

Way better than jury duty... and people occasionally feed you cookies.

What's more difficult than being a pollworker? Being a sick pollworker.


Tomorrow I'll be a pollworker in California again.

I was a pollworker in Nov. 2006 and was surprised at how difficult the task is ("The General Election at Precinct 225400"). It's an amazingly grueling 16-hour day where you go from highs of recognition from the service you're providing to having to deal with people that obviously have a baseless complaint that you have no choice but to deal with.

This time it's going to be more difficult. First, our high school pollworker just called and said (s)he won't be able to make it due to the flu. Encouraging high schoolers to serve as pollworkers is a wonderful practice. In my precinct, I oversee a team of older pollworkers who don't have much familiarity with technology. The high school poll workers understand this stuff and also don't get as tired as we do. This part of our team will be missed.

Second, I am sick too. I've got an annoying cold. As the head of a polling place ("poll inspector"), there's really no way to call in sick. So, I'll be downing some NyQuil tonight and hoping that the rest I can get will allow me to seize the day tomorrow.

Someday, pollworkers will be paid for what they're worth... I'd like to see a system where each pollworker got $1000 for their day. That's more what the work is worth and it would also catalyze a heightened quality of pollworking as there would suddenly be a demand for that job.

If you're near 3933 Harrison St. in Oakland, California tomorrow, stop by and say hi and observe things for a bit. I won't be able to talk much, but it's nice to see people on such a tough day. Remember, no campaign literature, clothing or rhetoric is allowed in polling places in California, so just don't go there.

Sorry to disappoint...

elections, politics, friends

people like Yuri, who cannot vote, but I'm more than likely not voting for Obama.

(I should emphasize that I won't fill out my ballot until Tuesday, so I can be persuaded for the next 40 hours... I'll be unavailable on Tuesday starting at 6am due to my duties as a polling inspector in Oakland, CA.)

I appear to be alone amongst my peers in having not been persuaded by the various arguments that Obama and his supporters make about his fitness to serve. I think Obama is paper-thin and overly idealistic. I finally came to a realization that voting for Obama because of Clinton's electability concerns is overly strategizing. I also had to convince myself that my desire to vote for Clinton had nothing to do with going against the almost unanimous voices of support from my peers for Obama. When it all comes down to it, if I ask myself sincerely who I think would make a better president, I resoundingly answer myself with the word, "Clinton".

And, frankly, I I've ceased to give a rat's ass if you'd vote for McCain over Clinton in November. That's your problem.

Full story »

2007 ACCURATE Annual Report

elections, reform, standards, news, berkeley, friends, research, policy, usability, legal, education, iSchool

Our NSF CiberTrust Center, ACCURATE, has released its 2007 Annual Report.

This report highlights the research, education and outreach activities of our 10 PIs as well as hordes of students and researchers. I must say that I'm impressed with the breadth and depth of what we've been able to accomplish in our 2nd year of funding.

I'd love to hear feedback (leave comments or send email).

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