On November 6, 2012, there were about 35 people in the line at my voting place, 10 more people were inside hunched over the voting machines, and four more were registering at the desks manned by the gatekeepers.
There were lots of smiling volunteers and for me the voting process went smoothly—in and out in 25 minutes.
For others it was not so smooth. Five arrivals while I was there were disabled—elderly struggling on weak legs with bad knees or hips. Others were confused, perhaps with early onset dementia.
As they entered the building, they see the line of people snaking down the hall seemingly longer than it really is. To their right blocking the entrance and the doorway into the voting room is the front of the snake line, and people exiting after voting, with several stopping to greet neighbors. The elderly disabled are confused. Where do we go? Can someone help me? Can I physically stand in that line as long as it takes?
With all of the volunteers inside the registration/voting room, I wondered why one of them was not standing outside in front of the building, greeting the very elderly as they approach the building, and helping them inside and through the process. That would be American. As important, it would be human and thoughtful. I imagine that each of the volunteers would have been happy to serve in such a role, but, no one thought of it.
Could our City and County officials provide such guidance to its voting day volunteers prior to the next election?