This is mysterious. My son Sean came back from a day as a poll worker to report with what sounds like half a conspiracy theory.
This year, it seems, the state Republican party made a major push to put "minority observers" in Philadelphia polling places. Since each polling place can have only so many workers, this meant that some long-time workers were displaced. Some of the displaced workers challenged the displacements and the judges sided with some of them and said they could keep their positions, which meant that there would be no minority observer at their polling place.
Got that? Now it gets odd. On election day, all the minority observers showed up in bright red shirts. Plus, the workers who hadn't been displaced by minority observers had people show up at their houses beforehand who gave them bright red shirts and told them they were required to wear them at the polls.
It's illegal for poll workers to wear anything indicating political affiliation at the voting place.
Now, some of the minority observers were confronted for wearing gang colors or because they'd displaced long-term cronies of those who remained. To a man and woman they did not argue, but turned around and immediately left. Which meant that the polls were undermanned.
Now, supposedly, the commonwealth Republican establishment is outraged at the treatment of the minority observers.
Aaaannnnddd . . . that's it. Whatever's happening here -- if anything -- is not exactly clear. Nor what the Republicans could possibly hope to get out of the situation. But it's interesting, no?
This is politics as it's played in Pennsylvania. "Land of Giants," as Steve Lopez used to say.
And speaking of collectibles . . .
The Ebay auction for the framed and signed typescript of "From Ghoulies and Ghosties, Long-Leggitie Beasties . . ." ends tomorrow at 10:56:32 Pacific Daylight Time. So if you're a collector or if you're simply curious as to how much such items go for, that's the place to be.
Remember, every penny goes to Clarion West Writers Workshop.
The story is on sale here. And it can be read here.