10/10/2008DEAR ABBY: I have been a poll worker for years. I would appreciate it if you would print this important advice to voters:
Before Election Day, voters should check the sample ballot they receive in the mail for their precinct number and the location of their polling place. Polling places can change for a variety of reasons. Often several voting precincts are housed in one location. If a person goes to the wrong location -- perhaps because they have voted there before -- it can take considerable time and effort to direct the person correctly. Nearly all these problems would be avoided if people read the information on the sample ballot and brought it with them on Election Day.
Also, the voting booth is not the place to review and make decisions about the candidates and issues. This should be done in advance (another reason for the sample ballot). The booth is for one purpose: to mark your ballot. It is inconsiderate to occupy the space for an extended period of time, especially near closing time.
Poll workers have an extremely long day, arriving an hour before polls open, and often working for hours more after the polls close. A prepared voter makes a great contribution to making the election process a positive one for all concerned. -- CALIFORNIA POLL WORKER
DEAR POLL WORKER: Thank you for writing. Because the turnout for this year's national election is sure to be one for the record books, your message is a timely one.
Now, allow me to share one of my own: There is usually a shortage of people willing to volunteer as poll workers. For those interested in serving, your county registrar of voters, local election board or its equivalent is the place to sign up. The number is listed in the "Government" section of your local phone book. I was a poll worker years ago, and found the experience was both interesting and fun -- and also a great way to meet practically every other single person in the precinct.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Nick," and I have been married five years. Two years ago, his 18-year-old son molested my 7-year-old daughter. It tore our family apart and we are going through a divorce.
Nick is an alcoholic and an enabler. He paid all his son's bills and even sent him money when he was in jail. My problem is, I still love my husband. However, I know that under the circumstances we would always have problems.
How can I make Nick understand that the drinking and taking care of his son after what he did is what really tore us apart? And how do I move forward? -- TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD
DEAR TRYING: If you haven't been able to make your husband understand what ended the marriage by now, you may never be able to. Until he dries out, nothing will sink in because he won't be able to retain the information.
You must move forward one step at a time with the full understanding that you are doing so in order to protect your little girl from her predatory former stepbrother. No one said it would be easy, but your child is depending on you. Her welfare must come first.
Believe me, I sympathize with you. But you are doing the right thing.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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