As I read the article “Election boards wonder if military ballots are too costly” in Saturday’s Greensboro News and Record, I began to recall all the old jokes. If you are a government worker or former government worker as I have been, I know you’ve heard them too… “Why don’t government workers look out the window in the morning? Because they wouldn’t have anything to do in the afternoon. Or how many Board of Elections workers does it take to… You know the jokes.
Anyway, George Gilbert, the Executive Director of the Guilford County Board of Elections told a reporter that under the current rule, “military personnel overseas who ask for ballots in the presidential years also receive ballots for municipal and all other elections, whether they want them or not.” “Gilbert said his office, under the law, mailed 482 military and overseas ballots for Greensboro’s Oct. 6 municipal primary. Only seven of those have been returned.”
He went on to say, “A week of labor for two election officials, at $14 an hour, and about $1,500 in postage went toward those ballots.”
“A week of labor for two election officials”… to stuff 482 envelopes? I waited for the punch line and it never came. But, we’ll get back to this in a minute.
The Board of Elections (the State Board of Elections legal counsel got into this discussion too) would like to see this rule go away – pointing to cost and ineffectiveness. The Board of Elections had no problem implementing and funding the Same-Day Registration Program during one-stop voting – the program designed for those voters who don’t think voting is important enough to register to vote on time…
North Carolina’s priorities are askew. I would like to think that my state would place the needs of the men and women who sacrifice to protect every person in this country above the group of people who just can’t be bothered with their civic duty. I would like to see Mr. Gilbert and the State Board of Elections begin to work with the group who wants to have an electronic system for military and overseas voters.
Back to George Gilbert’s election worker joke – I hope the reporter left the punch line out by mistake, because any of us who have stuffed envelopes for a good cause know full well how much time it takes to stuff envelopes. 482 ballots – 2 election workers – 1 week – that would be about 6 ballots processed per hour. No wonder people make jokes.
So the punch line is: (check one)
- George Gilbert doesn’t understand what his employees are doing.
- George Gilbert needs to take an active role in the management of his office.
- George Gilbert doesn’t want to be bothered with our military and has no problem bending the truth to advance his agenda.