27 April 2016
Primary Election Volunteer Reflection
For my experience on Election day, this past Tuesday, was an experience that I will not forget. Being outside on election day felt like I was already eighteen years of age going out and voting for the first time, meeting new and old individuals that also are voting, and on the front lines making sure the voting process goes smoothly without any violations or errors in the process. Within four hours I learned a lot about what it takes to set up voting stations, monitor, and secure the stations. Walking from station to station was a bit of a hassle but thinking of it as a bit of summer exercise made it all the better! With my partner Jason, we took the time to view the area where the stations are located, some stations where a local church, a recreational center, and the back of a library. These three stations seem relatively popular and in areas where it will attract plenty of individuals, this was key to make people vote without forcing them instead to influence them indirectly. Jason and I didn’t get to meet any of the candidates, such a bummer, but did get to meet some of the volunteers to see their perspective on working at the poll booths and we did get some of their perspectives on who they wanted to see in office. Many felt like they should go with the “wave” according to the popular opinion but some people had reasonable evidence on why they chose their respectable candidate. I had only one questions about the election process regarding the paper ballots handed out to the public and why they didn’t allow all candidates to have their name on those ballots, Mr.Hussey enlightened me on the fact that the candidates pay tons of the big bucks for their name to be placed and bold on the sheets. I felt that this would be unfair because it led the public to believe that on the democratic side only Hilary C. was running when Bernie S. was also running as well.
Overall, the experience as a doosy. Waking up smelling the fresh polluted air and working at the poll booths. It was a great day!
Yesterday, Me, Savion, Troy and Obasi worked for the Committee of 70 in the 59th ward. Our job was to survey voters after they voted in the polls. Some people answered and some either just walked right by us or said no about taking the survey. The people who did take the survey were most likely around the age 50 to 60. I think we got to survey one young person. We went to the waterview recreation center. Then we went to the Awbury recreation center. The last place we went to take a survey was Martin Luther King high school
We met other volunteers. They weren't working for the committee. I believe that they were working on their own terms. Out of all the people we interviewed and met yesterday the volunteers that at the awbury recreation center. The volunteers were elderly and wise African Americans. One of them was an old black panther who was happy to see young black people working and volunteering for the committee. He talked about the things in his neighborhood changed and the racism with blacks voting and not being allowed to go into polling places. The other gentleman marched with Malcolm X in the 60s.
It was a pretty cool experience in all. The last location we went to was very boring. There wasn't many people coming out of the building.
My experience at the polling place on Castor Ave was’t good at all. There was posters outside of the recreation telling voters to vote for Boyle or re-elect Bob Brady. There was two people out front with voting shirts on and they I greeted them and they spoke back but they had nothing to give me. Since I didn't read thurley read over the instructions I enter the place. There was one voter inside voting at the time. I heard crickets. There was barely anyone and there. It was quite. I took a picture of the voter voting and a picture of ballot. I asked the people that worked there if they had anything they can give me. Of course they didn’t have anything to give me. So after that I left after that. I wish I had a better experience there. I wish I could actually enjoyed myself there but I didn’t. If I could had changed something I would change the location I went to. I feel like the community that it was surround by, the people there would not worry about voting. It's the truth, those people around that community it not worried about voting. So i wish I could had changed that. I also wished that it was more stuff to look at to read on and to learn about. If I was a new voter How would I be able to know what i have to do or how I do it. Where does my votes go and so on. So based off that I believe my experience there was not so good.
It all started early in the morning with a phone call. Waking up and getting dress. I meet up with my partner and we went out to the 34th ward. Before starting, we went to grab some breakfast for the road. We Started first down on overbrook. There, there was a hotel that was holding its own little voting center. We went in there and asked the judge of elections for a brief 5 question interview, she was very happy to help and give her opinion. After we were done, we asked some of the volunteers what their opinion was as well. After that, we left and and moved on to another voting station. There we got to interview a bunch more people. Some were voters and some were more volinteers as i was interviewing people i got to meet someone from the committee of 70 there. He asked how things were going and in the end I asked him for a short interview and it went well. A couple of minutes later we were out again.
Being able to do this and have this opportunity was great. I got to go out in the field and interview important people and help get the people's voices/opinions out there to help make the voting process better or easier. I enjoyed asking the questions, even though some made no sense to me. I felt empowered and incontrol being able to ask these question though. I felt apart of the processes and that i had an important role. I want to thank whoever gave use this opportunity and i hope we will be able to do this again.
Bobby taking picture in front of polling place
Polling place Outside of polling place
In my group we walked around the neighborhood visiting different polling places. We approached the people outside and introduced ourselves. Many of the people outside were kind and informative. They asked us some questions about the committee of Seventy, and what kind of things we were looking for in this experience. We visited the polling places in the district. They were often held at community known places with a decent amount of space on the pavement. We met normal pedestrians, the Judge of Elections, and other volunteers that were handing out flyers. Being involved with elections was sort of scary. People kept asking questions that I didn’t know the answer to, and speaking to people is not one of my strengths. Many of the people knew exactly what their answers were without any clarifications for the questions. Some people wanted a further explanation, or they needed to explain their answers before actually answering. The polling both had a curtain and the person was hidden. Voting usually did not take long, and there were snacks. Some people were a little hostile about us being at their polling place, but others welcomed us.
The sample ballots they gave us has certain people’s names in red and others in blue. In class we discussed that people who paid more money had their name in red. Outside, many of the volunteers would tell people a candidate's name and say, “For ______ press number 22!”. Although we went to different polling places, the sample ballots were all the same. It was interesting to see the people’s names on the sample ballot. There were posters everywhere advertising to vote for a particular candidate. My group member and I surveyed a couple people. The people were volunteers and also pedestrians. Their answers were pretty synonymous. I stood around more so than ask questions because I was shy. I still don’t understand a lot about how elections work. I am struggling to understand the difference of voting, how politicians can win in one vote, but lose in the other. I have a couple more years until I am able to vote, but I am glad I am getting a head start.
This was my free election day in America and I was not excited at all. There was a fear instill in me. Since I have been living in Jamaica election days were filled with crimes and violence against supporters of the opposite side. On April 26, 2016 I stepped outside my door with the fear that something may go wrong but I had the brightest smile on my face. I prayed that everything went well. I went to meet my friend Valerie and we went to the first polling station. It was so quiet and calm. Everyone was minding their business and going about their day. I asked my questions and take pictures of course because I was having a good time and I was learning so much about the election process.
The second polling station I went was very interesting. The people outside were so kind and they took the time to answer all the questions I had to ask. They even went as far to explain why they choose the answers they did. The gentleman had allowed me inside and while I was inside he explained the voting process and he showed me a visual presentation and basically taught me how to vote. So thanks to that gentleman when it’s time for me to vote I will be ready because I now have a better understanding of the voting process and how to carry out the procedures. As I walked outside I ran into two men that were also representing the Committee of Seventy and we had the best conversation ever. It was pretty interesting. Experience like this helps young people to go out and meet new people and see new faces and have conservation with people who share different ideas.
I walked another four blocks to get to the other polling station and I met some interesting men who were most willing to take the survey and even took pictures with us. That was pretty cool. This was my first election and it was very good and interesting. Hope can be like this when I have the opportunity to vote.
Election Volunteering Experience
My morning started off with delayed trolleys that set my day back a little off early with a lot of walking. I can not say i enjoyed that, but I eventually I arrived to the polling place ready to shake people down with questions. My group of four and I met up at a library on 34th & Haverford and began trying to approach people respectively with a list of five questions. Most people had some time for us but there were some others that had to rush to “work” perhaps.
(Group & I outside of 34th & Haverford Poling place)
One thing I did realize early was that we were not at the most popping polling place. There was little to know outgoing traffic to get some Talley marks in. I started out by asking one older gentleman the questions and he seemed as perplexed as I was reading them. Some of them were complex and very wordy for the average person to comprehend. I think I had the hardest turnout with question three. That was a very ongoing complex question, and was hard to read and understand.
After we got some data from that polling place we set out to find a better location and wound up on 36th & Powelton. There was a little more traffic and data to be collected. People here were pretty respectful and actually had some time for us. They happily answered the survey questions and understood them well. We then headed over to some place on 33rd. Street that was on Drexel’s campus. It was interesting to see a much younger group of voters but they didn’t have much time for us. I guess Drexel has a very busy schedule.
After the Drexel spot we went to get something to eat took some pictures and departed. On my own I wanted to find more data so I could have a stronger evidence. I headed to my local polling center on 47th and Chester and collected most of my data there. It was a lot of foot traffic and a lot of participants who understood the questions and also answered them with giving me feedback. Overall it was a good experience but I do have to say it was a hot and tiring one also. One thing I want to know is where does all the money go to a person that loses a campaign?
On Tuesday April 26,2016 I volunteered with the Committee of Seventy by going to different polling places and collecting ballots and asking people survey questions. We were responsible in asking four questions to as many many that we could but only the people who were done voting. The four questions were 1. Would you support allowing voters the option to request and submit absentee ballots before Election Day without offering a reason or excuse, 2. Would you support allowing voters the option to vote for a certain period before Election Day at a select number of early voting locations, 3. Would you support amending the PA COnstitution to create an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission responsible for drawing Congressional and state legislative districts, 4. Would you support allowing independent and third party voters to vote in primary election. They voters had the choice to say Yes, No or Uncertain even though that seems so simple not all gave me a simple answer. I had the chance to go 4 polling places around my neighborhood on Election Day Volunteering for the Election Day was a great learning experience for many reasons. One reason it was a learning experience for me because I was actually involved in election which made me become more aware about it. It also made me realize that voting is really important because though it may not seem like your vote will matter it actually will. It also taught me that you don’t have to know everything to vote because while I was asking the people the survey questions not all of them knew what the questions meant. Though it was a great learning experience there were some challenges such as voters not wanting to answer the questions or them not understanding it. During this great experience I did not have the chance to meet anyone special or any of the candidates running. After collecting ballots and asking voters survey questions we were responsible for sending the pictures and tallies for the survey that we took to the Election Ambassador Program Coordinator Walker Moseley. I am glad that I had the chance to volunteer for Election Day and hope more high schoolers get the chance to do it to become more aware about what they will eventually have to do in the future.