OUR RIGHT, OUR DUTY, OUR PRIVILEGE

Analog cover March2016web

My latest guest editorial for Analog is in the March 2016 issue, which just came out. It concerns elections, voting, and maintaining our democratic self-governance in the United States. This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I spent 25+ years as an election lawyer. Several experiences that made the biggest impression on me, however, took place not in a courtroom but rather in my own local polling place where I serve as an election officer whenever they need me. Actually, they almost always need me as there is a shortage of people willing and able to volunteer for one day to help local officials run the polling places. It’s such a worthwhile thing to do that I hope you’ll all give it some thought if you are able to devote a day to helping our country maintain democracy.

Lastly, I just gotta say, man-oh-man this guest editorial writing gig never gets old!

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3 responses

  1. As a Canadian now living in the UK, I am used to free elections (as you are in the USA). I loved reading your article in Analog. Many thanks for writing it.

  2. I enjoyed your article in Analog.

    It’s nearly 60 years since I worked as a poll clerk in elections in Melbourne, Australia.
    I remember it as a pretty simple task, marking a line in a printed register of voters and handing out voting papers, then counting votes after the poll closed.

    The process here is simplified by voting being compulsory, no get out the vote campaigns (I experienced those in the UK in the sixties). Compulsory isn’t as draconian as it might sound, all it means is that you need to get your name marked off on the roll, or when queried as to why you didn’t vote you at least bother to enter an excuse.

    Our polling staff are temporary employees of the Electoral Office (a federal govt body) and as I recall the pay is good if you are a student.

    Also we only vote for state and federal politicians and very rarely a constitutional referendum. We use a postal ballot for local councils.

    1. Thanks, Lance. It’s always good to hear about the electoral system in other parts of the world, particularly compulsory voting. I, too, remember the days when the job used to consist of drawing that line through the name in the printout of registered voters. Also, I’ve often thought the job would be a good one for students, but very few of them work as Election Officers here.

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