Civil Service

The Arlington County Fair is an interesting event. It is held at my gym, the Thomas Jefferson Center, or rather, the gym I intend to join again that’s on this side of the river as soon as it’s open again in September. My other gym is the National Press Club.

Last night, Ms. Jessica and I headed to the fair. I wanted to meet the folks at the Board of Elections booth because I was going to be volunteering there tonight, and I also wanted to pick up my t-shirt. We walked the inside floor and then headed outside for the attraction she was most interested in: The petting zoo. I had as much fun watching her enjoy the aminals, which included a myriad pack of llamas, goats, alpacas, ducks, and piggies, as I did watching them. I especially enjoyed this little black piggie they had set off in a cage who wagged his tail. Almost makes me feel bad about the bacon I had with breakfast. Almost.

So today at five-ish, I donned my “register to vote” t-shirt and drove up to the garage, where there’s a shuttle, and took the shuttle to the fair. Parking there’s a bitch, so taking the free shuttle just makes sense even though it’s ten minutes from the Big House. And so, I joined a lovely group of volunteers and spent three hours demonstrating the voting machines to people. It reminded me of my job in a way because it’s like standing for seveal hours on the exhibition floor. It’s exhausting. But I had an experience to draw from. And, it was gratifying to know that we signed up at least a half dozen folks to vote in November. In fact, I was this close to signing up to work the polls, but I realized I would be out of town or just returning on Nov. 8. I might just have to put in an absentee ballot, which would be a first for me. It is a gubernatorial election, after all.

I like the idea of helping out at the board of elections. I often wonder, when I go vote, all the people who person the polls are old and stuff, and who will do their jobs when they can’t anymore? I know that’s not the most progressive of thinking, but I also have always had a great respect for the office that actually administers the elections, having spent several long nights in board of elections offices waiting for voting returns as a news reporter. It’s just plain cool, and I like it.

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