An election judge's inside view

November 03, 2010

I volunteered as an election judge this year, working as a check-in judge for both the primary and general election in Anne Arundel County. Not only did I feel this was part of my civic duty, but I wanted to see the workings of a polling place first-hand. One thing I found disturbs me to the core.

If I write a check in a store, I must produce a driver's license. When I go to my own bank to draw money out of my account, I must produce a driver's license. If I need to go to the doctor, I must produce a driver's license. To board an airplane, I must produce a driver's license. Why, then, isn't a government-issued photo ID demanded at the polls?

As a country, we don't trust one another in so many areas, why are we so trusting when it comes to our vote, a sacred cornerstone this country was founded on? I had many voters who were perturbed that I did not ask them for their driver's license. As poll workers, we are specifically told not to ask for a driver's license; however, if someone handed me their license or voter card, I would accept it, if for no other reason than it helped me with the spelling of their name.

When I arrived home from the polls, a news story had already broken that a gentleman in Baltimore City had an early vote cast in his name. How do we prevent this? A number of voters came in with Bluetooth devices in their ear, no doubt because they had the apparatus in while driving. As a poll worker, how do I know that when I ask someone to verify their street address and month and day of their birth, there is not someone on the other end feeding this person the answers? Gov. Martin O'Malley wants to "move Maryland forward," but our voting system seems pretty backwards, especially in the technology age.

Additionally, I had a number of voters who came in who had stated they either registered to vote at the MVA or had made address corrections there that should have gone to the election board. Unfortunately, this information was never entered into the polling system. Who dropped the ball, the MVA or the election board?

I urge the incoming administration to really take a good look at Maryland's election system and to be proactive and fix potential issues that could amount in voter fraud before it becomes a rampant problem.

Rie Sadler, Annapolis

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.