Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MEOC Ahead!

It's Tuesday at the election office and while we don't have an election today, we're frantically moving around at election speed.

Our little regional election administrator conference begins tomorrow and has blossomed beyond the 90 attendees we thought would be a stretch to nearly 200. 

Putting the conference on with a relative shoestring has redefined shoestring.

To paraphrase a movie that I'm way too frantic to remember--"It's a darn good thing we have a presidential election next year."

Which, on one hand, is why we're having the conference.

We planned to upgrade our election worker training equipment for 2016--new computer, new monitors, new sound system, and maybe a stage for our perfect polling place skit.

Buying some of those items now and trekking them to the hotel saves us some rental fees, although trekking will be less fun than even typing the word trekking, which already feels awkward because of the double kk's (really, how many words have consecutive K's?  Is trekking the only one, and is trekking really even a word?). 

Still, two k's are better than KO, although the conference is coming close to knocking us out.

You'd think we'd have learned that elections are stressful and this would bring about similar crazy.  Yet, we always seem surprised that the election period makes us cranky from stress, too.

I've said before that having an election is like having a baby.

The long nights and pains of having a newborn are forgotten fairly quickly, leaving the parents with all the great memories of their child--so much so that having another baby seems like a great idea until the outcome is more sleepless nights.

Where's the instruction manual
for the stage...?
So it is with elections, and this conference.

The outcome of the conference will be rewarding.  The conference features an A list of election administrator speakers, never assembled on the same stage before!

(No one has ever been assembled on our stage before, because, as a matter of fact, we are still assembling the stage).

I coordinated many trade shows and events in my Sprint days, so we're at the part where I feel like things are coming together just enough to introduce new things, apparently to simply terrorize my staff as they were finally thinking about exhaling. 

"What if we streamed the event?"

"We have transition music, right?"

"Can we have lasers?"

Don't call them Swag
Bags (or satchels for
Skittles)--these are
Vote Totes
Ok, I didn't ask about lasers.  (At this event, anyway.  We also don't have the money to hire Michael Buffer, the guy to customize a "Let's Get Ready to Rummmmmmmmblllllle!" intro.  I did that in the past.  He charged $3,000 for that, 20 years ago).

We'll update here and elsewhere (www.meoc2015.org).  We'll use the twitter hashtag MEOC2015. 

The conference starts Wednesday at noon, central time.