Thursday, June 04, 2009

European Elections-who wants to be a polling clerk?

This is how I spent my day....I was up before 5am to make sure I arrived at the polling station by 6:15am to help set up ready for the 7am opening. You must be mad I hear you say...I can tell you as I was walking to the local library, where the computer room was to be the polling station, I too thought I was mad. Then I thought about earning a day's pay and decided I'd made the right decision.
Anyone who voted in the elections yesterday, will have seen the yellow voting form above, and know the huge range of parties who were trying to gain seats in the European Parliament. In fact there were 17 parties from which one could vote for only one.
It was such a small room we could only set up 3 of the voting booths. We were well organised and ready before opening time and then felt quite disappointed when we only had a handful of voters come through the door in in the first few hours. This meant that the time passed very slowly. This is a job where you don't get a break, you eat and drink when there is a quiet period. Not particularly satisfactory as every time I tried to eat a sandwich someone walked in to vote.

We were a little busier in the evening but only ended up with having 252 voters out of a possible 1181 registered to vote (although out of these about 230 opted to make a postal vote). I'm no good at working out percentages but it seems pretty low to me. My guess is this was pretty similar to many other areas of the country.

We had the last voters come through the door at 9:30pm (the guys said they came during the adverts on TV which made us chuckle). At 10pm we were able to pack everything away and come home. I have to say, although it wasn't hard work, it was very tiring just being sat on a hard chair for so many hours, I'm feeling quite stiff now. Would I do it again......probably as I never say "NO' to earning a bit of extra money!!

2008: Witty Wednesday-52
2007: Fun Monday-19-Crafty Monday

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At 5/6/09 15:03, Anonymous Beckie said...

It may have been a long day, but It was something different and a little money. :)

I've helped out with those types of events. They tend to make me happy that I don't do that type of work on a daily basis.

At 5/6/09 15:57, Blogger john.g. said...

I hear the Lib Dems got Bristol.

At 5/6/09 16:50, Anonymous Kila said...

Good for you for serving like that.

At 5/6/09 19:07, Blogger ChrisB said...

Beckie it is quite tedious but a necessary role.

John I actually live over the border from Bristol so we have a different local authority and we didn't have local elections; but yes they did gain control in Bristol.

Kila I can assure you I did it purely for the money.

At 5/6/09 22:12, Anonymous Karmyn R said...

Even though it was a long day, you should be proud of yourself for such service!

At 5/6/09 22:26, Blogger Beccy said...

That's a really low turnout. We've just voted today, both local and European. The polling station was very busy. I find it quite hard, proportional representation, so I had to work out who I thought were the least bad!

At 5/6/09 23:30, Blogger Little Miss Moi said...

dear chris. Did you know it's compulsory to vote in Australia. So always a big turnout!

At 5/6/09 23:39, Blogger cynicalgirl said...

I've done that in the past, and it's just as long and dull in the US as it probably was for you. But it's still important and I'm not sorry I did my time.

I checked that list of parties... where was the Loony Party? Everyone else under the sun seemed to be there!

At 5/6/09 23:52, Blogger ChrisB said...

Beccy did you opt to vote in the UK European elections, I know from here you can as Tina voted in the Finish ones.

LMM I had no idea voting was compulsory in Oz. They should do that here.

Cynicalgirl no the Raving Loony party seems to have disappeared, but there were some weird ones to take it's place. There was even a Pensioners Party. LOL

At 6/6/09 16:49, Blogger Pamela said...

during the adverts. Oh that is too funny.

It is true, tho. a 60 minute show has at least 20 minutes of commercials - so it seems.

At 9/6/09 05:27, Blogger Ari_1965 said...

We call them election judges here. At the last election, the election judge who checked my name in the big printout was trying, surreptitiously, to eat a large cream-filled doughnut with chocolate frosting. For some reason, this made me giggle. While I was standing in line for a ballot station, I amused myself by running through my mind a list of other messy things she might have eaten. A hot dog with chili on top, maybe?

At 10/6/09 10:46, Anonymous Hannah said...

Your turnout was better than ours - less than 35% in our district for the county council elections! It's only slightly over that for town council and general elections.

At 10/6/09 21:49, Blogger ChrisB said...

Hannah this was the first time I've been a polling clerk so I wasn't sure what to expect.


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