Back in 1984 I changed my party affiliation to plain old American Citizen. I became a poll watcher for a day. I had actually spent the previous month working for the election of a friend of mine to the State Senate. I had received official instruction as to what could and couldn’t be done within 50 feet of the polling place.
Immediately after the poll opened that day, a congressman from the opposing party walked in with three boxes of candies and began placing them at the sign in stations. The boxes were clearly marked in bold letters…Complements of Congressman blah blah…..” I immediately approached him and said….”Congressman…You Can’t do that!” What do mean?, he replied This is just candy for the voters! That is electioneering congressman and it is illegal, I smiled. That prompted two poll watchers in union jackets from his party to approach. What da ya mean he can‘t do that…it just candy! He can put the candies there if he likes, but the stickers got to come off the box …period!. They both gave me a menacing stare with an Oh Yeah…for to with I replied…Oh Yeah! The congressman then interceded…. Never mind! Then he picked up the boxes in huff and took them with him.
An hour later, I was standing out side on the side walk having a cigarette, when low and behold, my candidate friend showed up with his campaign manager and a kid with campaign leaflets. They immediately took up a position right by the door, and my guy started introducing himself and shaking hands as he handed out the leaflets. I immediately dropped my cigarette and ran over to them….WHAOOO…WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? I’m just greeting the voters he smiled. NO CAN DO…CHRIS… NOT HERE! You can do that across the street. His campaign manager interceded….Hold on John… nobody is going to do anything! Yes they are I replied.. WHO? ME! If you don’t move… I’m going to have you all arrested. Okay…Okay…and they started back across the street. When I turned to go back to taking up my position, there were the two guys in the union jackets staring at me. I returned the stare for a second and they smiled….My Name‘s Frank and this is Vinny, He offered his hand with a “Pleased to me Ya.”. I shook his hand and smiled back…My name is John and I‘m pleased to meet you guys too.
Polling Places are Hallowed Ground. They are all that stands between us and the horrors of civil war with gun fire in our streets. It is the job of all American Citizens to keep them free of sleazy politics and free of intimidation. . .
P.S. My buddy won….and that congressman is now a The United States Senator.