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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Election Day Experiences and my NaNo Count


On Election Day I worked as an Election Inspector and this year I was asked to be the chairman of the district in which I worked. You have to get up very early to be at the polls by 5:30 AM. Now as most of my readers know I am not an early riser. In fact that is my usual time to go to sleep.:) So I set my alarm, the Dream Machine, Jason Mayo of Outnumbered is always talking about, for 5AM. I live just around the corner in Westchester terms. Which means you have to go down one street, turn at the next left turn and you're there. I could have walked there if I didn't have to lug that heavy bag.

The thing with being the chairman is the day before you get this big, heavy bag from the Town Clerk filled with everything you need for the day including the flag, the books (very important), posters and any extra supplies you need. It also includes the keys to open up the voting machines - lever kind- in the morning and to close them at night. I had the bag in my trunk so I could just go in the morning without having to lug it downstairs to the car. But as almost all of my plans, this one didn't quite go the way it should have gone.:)

I set the alarm and went to sleep thinking I would be awake by 5 and have plenty of time to be there by 5:30. At 5:40 my husband yelled at me that it was 5:40 and what time did I need to be up? There was someone on the phone wondering where the bag was. OMG what a way to wake up! He was talking on the phone to the person in charge at the Election Headquarters and telling them he would get them the bag. I got ready and was out of the house in ten minutes! Here is the best part of this day and believe me if you find someone like this you have to marry them!

My husband had gotten out of the house and taken the bag out of the trunk. He was standing there in the driveway holding this heavy bag waiting for the person to pick it up. I saw the guy's truck come as I put my foot on the second step. I rushed to my car after kissing my husband and telling him how great he was and got to the polls in five minutes. I had such a great team that everything was done and the technician had opened the machine. I checked it, of course, and I was happy that I was there before 6.

I'm taking this opportunity to curse out the Dream Machine!!! That alarm has gotten me in so much trouble. When it first starts to ring it starts out slow and low and then it gets relatively louder. But I can't tell you how many times I have slept through the alarm! I need something that will be so loud that it will pierce my ear drums.:) It has two alarms, but I only set one. I thought I would get up from my husband getting up. He usually gets up at that hour. But on Tuesday he didn't know when to get me up. I had only told him umpteen times that I was getting up at 5.

Anyway, the election process went very smoothly and the day went by fairly quickly. Except have you ever had to be in a room with people you don't know for fifteen hours? Plus I was constantly checking on the count between the sign in sheet and the machine. Lucky for everyone by the end of the night it was the same. But the thing that made me never want to be a chairman again is the reporting at the end of the night. It's 9 PM and the polls are closed. The posters and the flag are down. Everything is cleared, but you have the responsibility of calling out the vote and being double checked by another official and poll watchers from both parties. It gets even worse, because you then have to call in the results to the headquarters and then you get to write it all on the canvas sheet. Then you have to pack up the bag and make sure everything is in it.:) By the time I was done it was a half hour more and I was ready to collapse. I'll be an Election Inspector again, but unless it is impossible to find someone else, I won't be a chairman again!

The bad thing is that I am in the middle of NaNo month and I didn't have that many words written yet. I started on my new novel, which is YA, on Sunday night and figured I'd do about 25oo words a day. So I tried to write and got about two paragraphs down when this wave of tiredness came over me. I had too much coffee and Diet soda and now I was crashing! But the next night I wrote more and now I have 6,562 words. This is one of the first stories I am telling from a teenage boy's POV, so it's going a little slower. Hope to have at least 2500 more words by tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on my progress. If you are doing NaNo please friend me. I'm:
lionmother there.

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be on Barbara Hodges' Red River Writers show on Monday, November 16th. I'll remind you another time, but for now check out all the awesome Red River Writers shows that have already been on this month. You can listen to all of them on podcasts. If you missed my October show it is still there for your listening pleasure.

Thank you to all who are new readers and many thanks to the people who continue to read this. I just checked where you are from and it's amazing how many different places are represented. Great to know you all.


  1. Good luck with the Nano project. Can't imagine doing that much writing in a month. If I eke out a dozen aphorisms, I feel fortunate,

  2. Thank you, nothing profound. I've always been able to write when I needed to write.:) I'm keeping everyone posted on my progress on the blog.


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