being and becoming a poll worker….a great student job

My name is Ben. I am a Junior in high school and very busy. Through a stroke of sensational luck, I had one of the best jobs being a poll worker for a busy student.

From when I was still in middle school, my grandmother would volunteer at the food pantry every wednesday, an I would go along and help. From there, I met some wonderful people such as a great friend of mine, Roger. A retired Delta worker, he spends most of his time volunteering or doing odd physical jobs such as painting, yard work etc. for him and his wife to be able to travel. It was through him that I found out about becoming a poll worker on primaries and election days. Technically it is not a job, as you are officially a “public servant compensated for your time” and it is taxable if you make enough money, but either way, it pays 8$/hr for unskilled, non-physical labor.

Becoming a poll worker is an ideal job for a student for a number of reasons. Election days are school holidays so you don’t miss school. 8$/hr for upwards of 11hrs. Check comes in a week. Looks great on applications. You learn about how election processes work.

Now don’t get me wrong, 8$ is high for unskilled labor, but it is almost necessary. My poll worker job was to literally pick up the cards (they look like hotel keys) and:

in the primaries ask “democrat or republican”
in the election look at a paper that says their district

and push buttons on a card programmer to load the correct ballot.
Repeat 1000 times or so times and help clean up when it closes.
One of the frustrations besides the monotony is the fact that as a citizen, you have opinions, but it is prohibited by law that you say anything, being a poll worker, that could be twisted to you even suggesting how they should vote. Since some people cannot vote on their own for physical reasons you have to help them and it is in describablly frustrating to help someone vote a straight ticket in the opposite of your opinions and continue to smile. But, being poll workers, you have to.

One of the other big frustrations is the “heh heh im technologically impaired” jokes. With the new electronic ballots, most people havent voted with one before so you have to explain “Put the yellow card into any of those machines, arrow pointing towards the machine [the same direction as the flashing arrow on the receptical] and your ballot will pop up with instructions”

Your speech will start out vague and get more and more specific in attempt to make there be less questions but inevitably 1/3 of all people will say “which machine” or “put it in like this?” or “will i understand this? im technologically impaired heh heh”
of course when you say the same thing they suddenly get it.

Now of course you’re thinking “Aww come on Ben. They’ve never used it before”
But keep in mind: 1000 voters -> 1/3 of people thats mid 300’s. Imagine being told the same knockknock joke 333 times. Thats why it pays 8$ an hour.