Hail to the Chief

Published on: 11/8/2012

It's Hail to the Chief, but I have to toot my own horn too.

The Commander in Chief was decided while this 8th District Chief was assuring every eligible vote mattered and counted. I was pleasantly surprised, somewhat overwhelmed and quite concerned over the large turnout.

We'd considered splitting the books for Ward 19, east of Hartwell, and at the beginning of the day I wished we had. Just a couple hours later though turnout switched to favor Ward 18, from Hartwell west and most of Carroll's housing, and remained heavier than we've ever before seen for that ward.

For a time ward 18's line stretched out the door into the cold rain. Tried my best to tighten up the line. Thankfully, next I checked the line was inside the doors, but stretching all the way up the stairs to just outside the church! We had two people at the books. Never even discussed splitting Ward 18. Too late to do anything about it at this point. Two books, two people. There's really nothing you can do to speed it up.

Team Sandy and Sharon, in 14 hours with almost no breaks and barely enough time to take a sip of water, processed just over 1000 voters which included 412 new registrants. The line was still stretching up the stairs at 8:00 when polls would have closed. Last voter was at 9:00 p.m. and, wouldn't you know, spoiled the ballot.

This was the first time we pushed the use of the Edge touchscreen and had 63 people use it. It saved on ballots. Less ballot processing at end of night and, best part, it didn't allow voting mistakes. Ward 18 experienced 40 spoiled paper ballots - mostly overvotes I'd assume.

Thankfully we didn't run out of ballots, but we did call for more pens after starting the day with what looked like a 3 year supply.

It was quite an interesting 18 hour day on one pb&j and handfull of Chex Mix, but my proudest moment actually came days earlier when I realized parking would be an issue for disabled voters. Addressing it a week before the election and not day of was the smartest thing I did this election.

Another smart thing we did was set up the room the night before. We had 11 voting booths to set up and all the tables and chairs. Other things we're proud of: we listened as voters, reporters, and even observers made observations or suggestions. We handed out water to a few who'd been in line an hour. We put out leftover Halloween candy. Proud to say we accomodated the disabled: surprised a Carroll student on crutches was able to make it up several flights of stairs, but skipped him to front of the line when he said his leg was throbbing and we may lose him as a voter.

We welcomed Waukesha Patch, Waukesha Freeman and Journal Sentinel to our 8th Dist. polling.

From the Waukesha Freeman:

From the Journal Sentinel:

From Waukesha Patch:

Was this the most important thing I did this year? I don't know, but it sure felt like it! Many, many thanks to the great team I worked the polls with. They truly are incredible and one in a million. Thanks to all for their patience in line. Voters seemed pretty relaxed and calm considering the wait. Thanks to Gina and city staff for all the preparation and training, answering my many calls, and unlocking the door when I returned the ballots after midnight. Thanks to Kris and Bob from St. Mary's for help with room set-up and the parking thing. Thanks to the St. Mary parents for patience with the parking thing. Thanks to Mike for helping with signage and room set up the night before. Thanks for the opportunity to serve, and Thanks For Voting!