Today I went to my pollworker training class. Only they don't call us pollworkers, they call us judges. I suppose because we are responsible for judging whether a person may vote or not. Still, I don't think I'll be calling myself Judge Taylor any time soon. :D
The hours for a pollworker are pretty grueling -- 5:30 am until the votes are tallied, the voting machines taken down, and the ballots, memory cards, and paper record of votes are on their way to the central depot -- sometime well past 7:30 pm. I guess they just don't have enough workers to let people come in for six hour shifts or something. Of course, it also helps with security (reducing the possibility that the same person could vote twice) if you have the same people working all day.
I was impressed with the measures in place to make sure that everyone gets a chance to vote, and also to make sure that no one feels coerced to vote one way or the other. Judges, for instance, are not allowed to say anything about the issues on the ballot -- they can't explain them because their explanation might be prejudiced one way or the other, even though they try to be fair in their explanation. They aren't even supposed to recommend that the voter read the ballot initiatives which are posted before they head to the polling station; they can only inform the voter that the issues are posted if they are interested in reading them prior to the actual voting process. Signs and people supporting candidates have to be 100 feet away from entrances, and they aren't allowed to come within ten feet of voters outside of that 100 feet.
All in all, a very interesting look into a process most of us are not very aware of. It's too bad that more people can't do this; I think it would increase voter participation, as well as restore some confidence in the system.