My journey as an election judge.

On November 3. I worked as an election judge for the 5th ward, Precinct 20.  It was an early day, as I had to show up at 4:45 a.m. Thankfully, breakfast was provided.

As soon as I arrived, the other workers and I began setting up the voting area and the machines.

At 6 a.m. we officially opened the polling place. Despite the early hour, there already was a line of voters outside. At first, it was pretty busy, but towards 7:30 it began to slow dramatically. 

My job was to look up each voter’s name in the database, record their number and issue them a ballot.

We had a couple of voters who came to the wrong polling location, so we had to send them to their correct ward. Your voting location is based on your home address.

We were told to expect about 200 to 300 voters in our precinct.  However, we only had about 115.

My overall experience was really good.  I enjoyed interacting with the other judges, two of whom whom were University of Chicago sophomores. They told me about their experience at the university and answered my questions about the application process.  We also talked about our social lives and books that we have read. There was plenty of time for conversation, as around lunchtime we had seen only about 50 voters. 

Lunchtime finally came, and since the polling place was located in a Jewish community center, the food had to be kosher. 

As the afternoon went on we slowly started seeing more and more people, and finally around 7:00 p.m., there was an evening rush, making us reach the total of 115 voters. 

Then at 8 p.m., the polling location was officially closed, and we started packing up the voting machines and ballot box. 

After we were done breaking everything down, we had to sign our names on the ballot receipts and put all of them in sealed envelopes with our signatures on them.

My time working there was very enlightening and a lot of fun. I would definitely do it again; plus I got paid $230.