Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Special Election Day Blogtacular

Because I'm stuck at the headquarters of my benevolent employer for the next 12 hours, I will be blogging at least once every two hours today. Maybe; until I run out of things to say.

I voted at 9 a.m. this morning. There was about a 30-minute wait to get into the polling area. To the best of my knowledge, my vote was accepted and I will go yet another election sans disenfranchisement.

One sort of cool aspect about my polling place was that they had a Kids Voting area where children could take part. It, too, had a line. It, too, had bossy poll volunteers. Occasionally the curly-haired little girl manning the door of the Kids Voting area would turn to assure those of us waiting in the grown-up line that the kids' vote doesn't count. I can't say it would have really bothered me -- considering some of the people whose votes do count.

In the great state of Minnesota, our ballots are fill-in-the-blank. It's like taking an SAT test. I suspect this level of eye-hand coordination would cause cerebral hemorrhaging in most Florida voters.

After filling in all the necessary blanks, we then fed our ballots into a large machine that I referred to as the dalek. It would do a quick read of the ballot to make sure you hadn't double voted or improperly filled in the blanks then we walked over to a smiling old lady who slapped "I Voted" stickers on us and sent us on our way.

The machine was a bit confusing and to add to the oddity of it the poll volunteers had set out a line of tape about 10 feet away from the dalek and would not allow themselves to cross into the space -- only voters were allowed near the dalek.

At one point, as I was waiting in line to feed my ballot to the dalek, it spit out a woman's ballot, indicating that there was some sort of error that would have prevented her vote from being counted. The woman handed her no-good ballot to a poll worker who clamped it in a metal folder and held it at arm's length, as if it was radioactive, then walked her back to the ballot table so she could try again.

The whole thing made me feel very confident that whatever the result tonight in Minnesota, it will be valid.


Charlotte said...

I voted today. I didn't get a sticker. :(

Chris Cope said...

Yeesh. What's the point of voting if you don't get a sticker?