Election Day anywhere is quite a spectacle. There’s last minute campaigning and get-out-the-vote efforts. There’s fevered supporters shaking signs and handing out pamphlets at polling stations. And of course, there’s the rush of patriotism one gets from pretending that our vote actually makes a difference in our little world.
But none of that is possible without the people behind the scenes. The political parties for selecting candidates. The campaigns for organizing themselves and rallying behind their leader. Voters for voicing their mostly meaningless opinions through the ballot box. And, of course, the janitors for unlocking the doors at the polling stations.
Oh? You didn’t think about that last one – about how someone actually needs to open the polling station in order for the whole thing to work? Well, it seems registered Democrats in New Britain trying to vote for the board of education are with you on that one. They didn’t realize it would be possible to show up when the polls opened at 6 a.m. today, only to be forced into an awkward waiting game while the janitor at Chamberlain Elementary School caught a few more z’s.
According to NBC Connecticut, that’s exactly what went down and the doors didn’t end up opening until 6:45 a.m.
Look, I’m not usually one to berate a janitor. He or she has a tough job – one I’d never want to do and one that is rarely given the appreciation it deserves. But come on. It’s Election Day and you had one job: Open the doors on time. Set ten alarms. Have your friend or coworker call you to wake you up. Train your dog Rufus to lick your toes until you get out of bed. It’s not really important how it gets done, but on this one day, you’ve got to get up on time.
Officials told NBC Connecticut that the delay only ended up affecting two people, which is probably not as much of a relief as it sounds. I mean, I don’t know how popular New Britain Democratic primaries for the Board of Education are, but I can’t imagine voters are flooding the polls. For all we know, two people could be the difference at the end of the day.
Could you imagine that: A candidate losing by one or two votes because the janitor overslept?
I’m not sure who’d be more upset, the candidate for losing a job he could have had or the janitor for losing the one he already had.