in Checking In, Politics

Just a volunteer

It was the end of a long day volunteering at the polls when I arrived at the polling place with a young voter whom I’d volunteered to drive there. As she went inside to vote, I headed over to say hello to the campaign volunteers milling about outside.

“Hi, I’m Mark Turner,” I said as I shook the hand of Denise, a Democratic Party volunteer handing out slate cards. She kindly returned the greeting and turned back to greet more arriving voters.

Across the sidewalk stood a Republican Party volunteer, stumping for a Republican candidate.

“Hi, I’m Mark Turner,” I said with a smile, extending my hand. “Thanks for being out here.” Looking somewhat startled, he smiled and shook my hand.

I had continued towards the next set of volunteers when I heard a voice call out.

“What do you do?” the Republican volunteer called out with some admiration.

“Beg your pardon?” I answered, not sure what he had meant.

“What do you do?

A beat went by and then it dawned on me what he was getting at.

“Oh, I’m just a party volunteer,” I replied, laughing as I walked away.

Just a volunteer. This time around, at least.