Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My voting experience

I voted this morning, and it was a good experience. It was in a public library, and there was a lot of indoor waiting space, so I didn't have to stand out in the cold as I have in elections past. I had no voter registration card, and no one gave me a hard time about it. Still, there were a few kinks that caused me to have to wait for about 20 minutes even though there were only 5 people ahead of me.

Some suggestions to make things go more smoothly:

1. If you are a voter who fears technology, do not opt for the touch-screen voting when you have the paper option.

2. If you are the sole election volunteer capable of helping people with the touch-screen voting, do not take a break and disappear when there are multiple octogenarians who have just stepped up to the machines.

3. If you are in charge of flipping through the a hundred-page book to find a name that begins with the letter G, and the book is currently turned to the page with names beginning with "V," you can probably go ahead and flip more than one page at a time.

Feel free to comment on your own voting experiences.


Matt said...

I was out in the county voting with my parents. There was a lady trying to give us last minute anti-amendment 2 propaganda. We had an option of voting touch screen or punch ballot, and I was curious so I tried touch screen.

I would second your number 2. Poll workers have to authorize the machine to record a vote before you can vote, which means that a poll worker has to put a cartridge into the machine for each voter. I stood waiting forever for somebody to come and put the goddamn cartridge in.

Once I did, the voting was very simple and it went fine. A paper receipt ran behind a glass as you voted, verifying for whom you'd voted. I should've checked it to make sure that it recorded my dem votes for dems, but I didn't. Went quickly, I'd say.

I didn't decide on the smoking tax amendment until the last minute, ultimately voting no.

One thing that had changed and for which they'd thrown up signs everywhere - you can no longer vote a straight party ticket. In previous elections, I had happily voted a straight Democratic ticket. It wasn't a big deal to vote for each Dem independently, but I still prefer the option of voting the party.

Overall, it went swimmingly.

warm fuzzy said...

I just got back from voting and it took about an hour. Because our line was so long, a lot of people asked for the "quickest way to vote" and were given paper ballots. I alway get stressed out with the paper ballots, so I went touch screen.

The guy putting in teh cartridges was on top of things, and it went pretty fast considering how long the line was.

I was pleasently suprised with the voter turn-out. Apparently, the particular polling place usually gets about 300 voters - I was number 830. Pretty damn good.

On the straight ticket option - I'm glad they got rid of it. It makes the decision to vote democrat (or whatever) all that more conscious. I remember the first time I ever voted, I voted straight ticket and I felt like my voting experience was gyped in someway.

warm fuzzy said...

my only complaint: I did not get an "I voted" sticker.

scarlet panda said...

I did paper, but the voting machines at my polling place in the city didn't require the poll workers to put cartridges in. They just gave you a little card to insert in the machine.

I've never done straight ticket voting. After I wait in line for up to an hour, I like to savor the voting experience.

Fishfrog said...

I have never done straight party voting. As Fuzzy said, I like the feeling I get when I deliberately pick the democrat in each individual race.

As for my voting experience, I went paper ballot because the machines were malfunctioning. There was some guy on the phone with the manufacturer trying to fix it. The poll was not crowded at all. It only took twenty minutes total.