One aspect of election day has baffled me for many years. Perhaps you can explain it to me.

Before I set forth for the polling place, I know for whom I will cast my ballot. There has never been an election in which I arrived at the polls undecided. And I have the impression that this is also true of most people. Sometimes minds aren't made up until the final days of a campaign, but surely people aren't still flipping coins as they enter the voting booth.

Why, then, do politicians think it necessary to station campaign workers outside polling places? Why does this horde of men and women descend upon a citizen who approaches to cast his vote? Is anybody really persuaded to change his mind by this last minute importuning?

As I waited in line to vote on Tuesday, a man who joined the line behind me was muttering about the crowd through which he had just made his way. "Those people are an insult to my intelligence," he said. "Do they really think I'm going to let them make up my mind for me?" I have the same reaction to polling place campaign workers.