Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four Easy Steps to Making Voting Long and Arduous

Voting day is here! When volunteering at your local polling location, you are faced with many tough decisions. There are going to be a lot of people there, and most of them are going to want information from you. And you, of course, will want to do the absolute minimum that is legally required. So here's some tips to keep things as confusing as possible while meeting your legal mandate to assist your fellow citizens.

  1. At your location, make sure that all signage, information, and volunteers are posted around a corner from the front door. If at all possible, ensure that at least one line of people goes around this corner, so that new arrivals have a default (though likely incorrect) action to take - get in line. This is the first step in making sure that arriving voters remain confused as to the process and general layout of the polls.
  2. You'll probably have multiple local districts voting at your location, with each district having a separate area for voters to check in and cast their ballot. Make sure that the signs denoting these areas list only the cryptic legal name of the districts (example: MA-32; formerly EMA-344). If an overambitious volunteer has prepared signs with arrows (or other visual indicators) directing voters to these areas, remove the signage immediately.
  3. You're legally obligated to have a map of your districts. Make sure there's only one copy, and post it in a high-traffic area for maximum congestion. Print this map on the smallest possible paper. If it's any larger than 8.5" x 11", you're making it too easy for voters to look up important information. Feel free to print the map in color, but only if the map does not actually use color to convey useful information. If this map labels more then one street name per three miles, throw it out and request the minimum legally allowed map from your local government.
  4. Above all else, cooperate with your fellow volunteers. Encourage them to only respond to direct questions, and then only with the barest of answers. Attempting to inform the voters as they arrive should be discouraged.

Follow these basic guidelines, and you too can have a completely unusable experience that the voters will remember for years to come. After all, you're there to make the electoral process happen, not to make it efficient!