Shattered glass, not shattered hope
Broken car windows on Election Day almost broke my spirit. Then the skunk walked by.
Earlier this week, I was working the election with a handful of women, three of whom were sweet retired ladies who wanted to do something for their community.
And then their cars got broken into.
On Tuesday, we spent 14 hours, from before dawn until after sunset, checking in about 250 voters at a church in North Austin. When we closed up the polling station that night, two of my co-workers walked into the parking lot and found that someone had smashed several of their car windows to smithereens.
As soon as they discovered the broken windows, the rest of us gathered around to give them whatever support we could. We were all in disbelief that the universe had rewarded their good deed with an unthinkable one.
And then a skunk walked by, 20 feet away.
It was a surreal moment. To swing from the tired satisfaction of our work to feeling totally dejected. Neither of these women had anything of value in their car, but the violation of their personal space left us all rattled.
This is the fourth or fifth election I have worked since fall of 2021, when I’d just left the newspaper and was embarking on a new career.
Back then, I worked the poll as a way to make extra cash and get out into the community. Fast forward two years and I’m grateful to have enough gigs that I don’t feel like I *have* to work the election, but it’s a job that needs to get done and I’m still happy for opportunities to be of service in my community.
I’ve had tense interactions at the polls before, but nothing that escalated my adrenaline like this.
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