part of what i'm doing for my work on the sanders campaign is verifying polling locations in our database. this is a YUUUUUGE database of every honking polling place in every state and it is useful data for our phonebankers and for our canvassers and for our result reporters and checkers and all manner of things related to voting precints.
but somebody has to compare lists to current state and county publications and it can be stunningly mind-bendingly boring work. some rural towns pretty much don't bother to list their polling location, because the hundred or so people who live in town already know where the town office is.
last week in some other wisconsin county i had a given address for a polling place that didn't match up at all with the database and three different sources gave it as three different addresses, so i had a look at the addresses in google earth just to see what was what.
the most authoritative source gave an address that had nothing there but two mailboxes and a cornfield, so we speculated that perhaps this is the address the town gives for mail. somewhere buried on a town website in among the town hall minutes were directions to get to the town office, which appears to be in an outbuilding on a farm.
i understand this. a lot of my state is rural.
anyway, this morning i was working on marathon county, which is somewhat easier to verify because they have taken the trouble to put all of this information on their website, organized and formatted, and they don't seem to take for granted that everybody knows how to get to everything.
so i wrote them this note:
dear marathon county,
i'm working on polling place databases for a political campaign, so i see a lot of county websites.
yours is the nicest one i have yet seen. your information is beautifully formatted and easy to read and understand, and you have given your polling locations very specifically, which helps people a lot if they're new to town or new to voting.
particularly lovely is your inclusion of directions to get there. if i were a voter in your county, i would be pleased that you have taken the time to make my polling places easy to find.
i know this is not all information you are required to give, but it represents a dedication to serving the voters of your community and i just want to say well done, and thanks.
have a lovely day.