Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CALIFORNIA: Story of a Polling Station Inspector

Our colleague, Mari Lopez from the California Partnership sent another profile of a leader who is volunteering at the polls to help her neighbors vote.

Los Angeles, California

Yolanda James is working the polls today as an polling station inspector. She is on the other side of the table from where she has been during the time leading up to the elections. After working the streets to tell people about the election, the propositions, and their rights at the polling booth, she is now working at a Los Angeles polling precinct. Yolanda has also personally registered 450 people to vote.

“It’s important for me to do this because this election is so important and so historic,” according to Yolanda. “I’ve spent months making sure people who can vote are registered, understand the propositions on the ballot – and there are a lot – where their precinct is, and are going out to vote. Now, by working the polls as a worker for the county, I can make sure anyone who wants to vote are able to vote without any problems.” Yolanda, who volunteers for Coalition Los Angeles an organization that works on behalf of low-income communities, is a veteran of L.A. politics. She has registered new voters, walked precincts, phone-banked, attended rallies and anything else that helps bring people out to vote. “This particular election is special. These two tickets are making history” said Yolanda.

Yolanda has worked non-stop since August and won’t stop until 10 p.m. west coast time. The polls close at 8 p.m. but as an inspector she will be responsible for delivering votes cast at her polling precinct. “I’ll be here until every last voter in line at by 8 p.m. gets to vote!”

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