MCLE, Pollwatching and how will we bring fair elections in CA?

On September 15, 2010, a typical middle of the week night and I found myself at the Junior Achievement Center of Southern California.  I stopped by the Disney studios where I use to work and caught up with an old friend before heading over.  It was all about pollwatching.  It was at the Junior Achievment Center of Southern California, a place I had gone to as part of a field trip with a class from Byrd Middle School.  I was also once a substitute teacher.  I’ve had pretty much every odd job in the book.  When I first got there tonight, they asked if I was an attorney and unfortunately, I am not an attorney.  In some ways I wish I was because by having that expertise, it seems you are of more value and can do more for the cause.  It started at 7pm, but it took awhile because it was 7:07 and they had to restart the projector and the microphone did not work very well.

Overall, it was valuable.  Damon Dunn gave remarks and hopefully, Mr. Dunn will be the new Secretary of State and replace Debra Bowen.  One of the big problems that Dunn will fix is the problems with the absentee ballots.  He pointed out that Absentee ballots are now ‘vote-by-mail.’  He pointed out the importance of having identification. I have already received an email reminding me of a phone banking for Damon Dunn in Arcadia on Friday at 10am but unfortunately because of my work schedule, I can not go.  After hearing him speak I certainly wish I could meet him.

Natalie Rainforth seems to be the chief organizer of the event.  It appeared we were watching the speakers from her laptop projected onto a screen for us.

Natalie put on the next video speaker–I think this was from a convention from San Diego.  They were talking about the city of Bell chaos, so it must have been fairly recent.

It was not until late into the program that I realized the person who had checked me in was Jane Barnett.  She had run for office in 2008, I think it was for state assembly and it is unfortunate she did not win.

The speakers were good but it was much more interesting listening to the live speakers.  The last speaker talked about situations that occured in the 1980’s–the slate mailers that were sent to Republican voters as though it were from the Republican party, but listed all the Democrat proposals and judges.  I actually received a similar mailer addressed to me which said “ATTENTION REPUBLICAN VOTER…” and it made me vote for the wrong candidate because I thought I could depend on it as the last moment because life is tough and it is not easy looking up all the things you vote on all the time.

I hope that I can split a poll with another person so that I have time to vote in the morning–but I do not want to miss that poll opening up either.  What if someone were to stuff the ballot before the day got started.  I’ve worked at polls before but not as a poll watcher.  I hope it all goes well at the polls but what worries me most is the corruption that can occur with the absentee/mail-in ballots.

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