What I Saw as a Virginia Poll Watcher
Volunteer poll watchers put election workers on notice, as did an army of lawyers who helped police a fairly clean election. Here are some notes on what we saw.
I took some time to volunteer as a poll watcher in Virginia for the general election. After all, this newsletter is about elections – what we vote about and how we vote.
Plus, Democrat-majority precincts needed more Republican volunteers to help the polling place achieve "parity" with poll watching.
I participated in training sessions organized by the Virginia GOP and volunteer groups,and also trained to be an elections officer for Fairfax County in future elections. I got my paperwork in, and passed the tests with flying colors.
It gave me greater insight into Old Dominion's election systems, which have undergone major changes in the past two years with no-excuse absentee voting and now, 45 days of early voting.
Here are some of my observations from the start of early voting (Sept. 17th to election day Nov. 2nd):
—This year, about a third of the state cast an early-voting ballot out of some 5.9 million registered voters across the state.
—In Virginia's early voting tallies (still unoffici…