Guessing each voter’s party affiliation is tiring.
My job as the Opposing Party Judge at the August 28 Arizona Primary allowed me to ask each voter to choose a party ballot.
She’s a Latina so she must be a Democrat, I thought, but at least five well-dressed Latina women veered to the other side.
How come? Teaching at Catalina Foothills High School I discovered that wealthier Latinos held tight to their dollars, and could be as greedy and heartless as some of their white counterparts.
I worked hard for my moneyed status, or my people gained citizenship ‘the right way’ [without trekking through the treacherous Sonoran Desert in scorching heat to reach the U.S. border].
The lovely woman sitting in her wheelchair to my right — the Republican judge who signed voters in — was reading “The Chicken Soup Guide to the Christian Woman’s Soul.”
“My family was in the military. They were Democrats who referred to the other side as ‘communists,'” she told me. “They were mad when I transitioned to the Republican party a few years ago.”
I didn’t ask why she made such a stupid move as a disabled woman who couldn’t afford medical treatment. So determined was I to not discuss politics, a milestone for me.
Most older men clung to the Republican side.
As she requested a Republican ballot one middle-aged woman said, “I’m beginning to wonder why.” I kept quiet and stayed calm.
After the polls closed a Republican co-worker opined that the Electoral College should be eliminated.
“Well, we would have a different president if that were true,” I said, adding the Hillary Clinton would have won by three million popular votes.
“Oh, I didn’t know that, I only vote,” the lovely disabled woman said.
Of the 2,500 voters in our precinct who opted to vote in person, instead of by mail, three to one requested Democratic ballots, a good sign in hoping-to-flip Arizona.
My favorite sight of the day — regardless of party — occurred when a child accompanied a parent into the voting booth.
Our grandmotherly Republican election inspector stuck an “I voted” sticker on each “helper.”
I can only hope that each of those kids will be better informed voters when it’s their turn to step up.