Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's a sad day

I'm a little sad today. I'm not sad that the week is over and it's Friday. I'm not sad that I've been watching screener films from the Reeling Film Festival for the past two days. No, I'm sad because I don't think that I'm going to be a Judge of Election for this upcoming Federal Election and that the local Democratic Chairperson has let me down.

What's a Judge of Election you ask? A Judge of Election is that person that sits behind the table on Election day and helps you through the election process. I was a Judge for the 2000 election and I loved it. Not only are you doing your civic duty and getting to see the Election process first hand, you get to have the pride of saying that you were part of it.

Several months ago I applied to be a Judge of Election. The process has been changed recently and instead of applying directly to the Chicago Board of Elections you now have to submit your application through your local Democratic Representative, who just happens to be Carol Ronen here in Chicago. When I dropped off my application those months ago I was greeted with quizzical looks by the volunteer staff because they weren't sure what to do with it. But I had faith that it would get to the right place.

Now I don't know if it has or hasn't, but all I know is that the election is 12 days away and I have not received any kind of information regarding my application. Did it get to the Chicago Board of Election? Is it sitting on someone's desk? Was it tossed in the trash? Now mind you, I have been trying to follow up, but that's been a waste of time.

I don't have all of my timelines in order because I didn't think that I would need to know when I did something but here's sort of what I recall.

But I did "search" my Google Search history and somewhere around the end of August I searched for the Chicago Board of Elections and from there I printed out my application and dropped it off on my way home from work as Carol Ronens office is only a few short blocks from my house.

And then I waited......and waited.....and then waited some more. So then I decided to follow up with Carol's office, where the only thing I could do is leave a message, and then I left another message. Finally I decided to stop by and actually talk to someone, only to be met by clueless volunteers (not their fault, they were only volunteers) who promised that they would forward my details onto someone and have them give me a call back......and then I waited some more....
The last time I was a Judge of Election I was notified right away and I applied an an even later date because I had just moved to Chicago from Atlanta.

Then several weeks back on a Sunday evening I got a nice robo-call on my landline from Carol Ronen asking me to vote Democrat and then at the very end she said "If you need any help, call me." So I hung up the phone from her lovely robo-call and dialed the number that Carol just gave me and again I left another message saying how I was trying desperately to become a Judge of Election but hadn't heard anything yet.

I even stopped in at the offices again and spoke to another volunteer (clueles) who promised to pass my name and number onto someone that would call me back - never happened.
This week I called the Chicago Board of Elections again and got to speak to someone in the Judges Department, but the only thing I was told was "The Board is closed, if you don't receive notification in the mail this week then they couldn't place you."

So I'm sort of in a lurch because I don't know if my application was ever received and the local Democratic Chairperson won't even return my calls. I mean it's not like I was looking for donations or anything, I'm trying to HELP OUT IN THE PROCESS!!!!

All I can say is that I feel really let down by the whole thing, I've been excited about being part of the process of this wonderful and exciting election that we're about to go through and now I'm just gonna have to be a "regular voter" like everyone else. That really sucks!

I'd just like to say "Thanks" to Carol Ronen and all of her staff for doing nothing to help me try and contribute what I can to this campaign.....perhaps I should vote Republican this year, I know my family would like that!


Marty Mouse said...

Oh Michael, please don't switch parties and vote Republican!!! That would make me feel really sad. I wish I could make you Judge of Elections. :-(

Just think... you have done your part for democracy, because I am voting to support wonderful people in our community like you, who have shared their dreams and lives with all of us. It makes me proud to know that you are on "our" team.

Michael said...

@Marty - As mad as I am....I don't think that I could actually go through with punching that Republican sounds great in theory but not so much in reality.

I'll get over not being a Judge of Election but I think it would take even longer getting over voting Republican.