For several years, Jake Corn had been on the fence about his church operating as a polling place in his church’s community. He was sick and tired of having his ministry work interrupted.
By Jake Corn, for Christianity Today
Then, during the last primary, we had an incident that turned me off to the idea completely.
Our church runs a preschool which results in a long line of cars for child pickups. When voting day rolled around, my preschool line clashed with the voting traffic. Worse, the two major political parties had set up tables at the entrance to our parking lot and were hounding parents to take fliers and participate in exit polls. At one point, our preschool teachers asked the pollsters to please stop harassing these young parents. The pollsters’ solicitations were causing the preschool drop-off line to back up and spill out into the main street, creating a morass of angry-toddler gridlock.
The pollsters did not respond well to my preschool teachers asking them to keep their solicitation limited to the folks on campus for the election. My sweet, gentle teachers were thanked for their trouble with a shouting match filled with curse words and threats. The end result was a full police blockade, replete with sirens, lights, interrogations, and all sorts of bad optics for my church and preschool.