segunda-feira, 14 de abril de 2008


  • In 1996, I served as an election inspector in the San Diego precinct where I vote. Of the five volunteers, I was the only one not yet a grandparent. Though I turned fifty a few days before the election, I was the youngster of the group. The oldest was seventy-three, the same age as Republican candidate Bob Dole.
    We worked for fifteen hours in a garage donated year after year by a law enforcement official and his family. He sees this as a part of his children's political education. He received $25 for his efforts, the clerks $35, and I, as supervisor of clerks, $50.
    Dozens of 563 voters who cast ballots thanked us for our efforts on behalf of this democracy. When voters knew one of the clerks, there was friendly and, invariably, some indication that they were proud of their neighbor for volunteering. The labor required to run an election is substancial: with more than 25,000 precincts in California alone, each employing three to five poll workers, the outpouring of volunteers labor is enormous and their organization and training no mean feat.
Michael Schudson (1998/2002). The good citizen. A history of American civic life. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, page 1