US Voters: Tell us, how was it?

Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 08:21 pm
Tell us, was your precinct crowded, uncrowded, were there goof-ups or did things go smoothly?
What was your experience like?
Did you have new voting machines, paper ballots or was it all digital?
Any place still using punchcards?
Did you talk to anyone in line?
Were the helpers helpful?
Did you see anyone having difficulty? Maybe they couldn't find their name? Maybe their place had already been signed?
Did you drive someplace to vote or was it within walking distance of your home?
How long did it take from the moment you arrived until you actually voted?
Did you vote earlier this week?
Did you vote before you went to work or school or did you wait until the early evening?
What else was being voted on? Bond issues? For what? Schools?, water or other services?
Did you also for a seat in Congress or the US Senate?
What parties, other than the Democrats and the GOP, were on the ballot?
How many other Presidential elections have you participated in and how did this one compare?

Joe(inquiring mind)Nation
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Type: Discussion • Score: 43 • Views: 10,461 • Replies: 123
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Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:58 pm
@Joe Nation,
Oh, Gawd, did I sleep through it?
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 12:37 am
You're such a let-down, roger! Laughing
0 Replies
Joe Nation
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 04:10 am
Roger: No one in the entire country can sleep.

Polls open here in 55 minutes.

Joe(I head out to walk up in 30) Nation
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 04:39 am
@Joe Nation,
My absentee ballot was in the mail, a couple of weeks ago. It was very nice to sit at my kitchen table, and contemplate all the choices, without being concerned about someone cussing me out because I was taking so long to vote.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 05:49 am
@Joe Nation,
I voted by mail, weeks ago. It was very satisfying to vote in a race that no longer includes a person named Bush.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 07:38 am
I will wait and go to the polling place around 10 am, hoping to avoid some 9-5er rush. I have the day off since the polls in the town I work in will be held at the schools - too much mayhem.

I'm reading boston.com and I see that in some places (especially those with large black populations) have had hundreds of people in line before the polls opened. I chuckled when I read about Obama's 17-point lead in MA. Record turnout and all that. It's nice, but it doesn't count for much with the electoral system in place.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 07:39 am
@Joe Nation,
Polls opened in Wilmington, NC at 6:30. At 6:20 when my wife and I arrived at our polling place in Halyburton park, there was a line of around 100 people standing around in the dark and a couple of TV crews setting up. A poll worker told me the line was about 50 deep at 5:30 when he arrived. The doors opened promptly at 6:30. One Republican and one Democratic operative worked the line handling out sample ballots. Everyone was explaining the NC's straight party voting rules since voting straight party does not include a vote for President or judges. The sky was threatening, but we never got rained on and the temperature felt like around 70, so waiting was no big deal. There were 14 voting stations in the voting site and the crowd was orderly. I got out at 7:25 after casting ballot 112. (The machine displays the count). When I left, the line looked exactly as long as it did when I went in, so I assume my hour wait will be typical until the work crowd dissipates. NC has benefited from extensive early voting. The lines would have been much worst otherwise.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 07:41 am
I and a third of the state voted early. I went to the mall with my daughter for her first presidential vote. A couple hundred people in line, but we got through in around 30 minutes. All of the poll workers were extremely friendly and helpful despite having already been at this for over a week.

Paper ballot that we then fed into a machine. I had to fill in bubbles. The poll workers were very good about explaining / emphasizing that even if voting straight ticket, you have to vote separately for president.

I can hardly wait until 7 pm.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 07:50 am
@Joe Nation,
Whoops... I just started a thread like this ("Your Voting Stories"), then saw yours and got rid of mine.

I asked similar questions (but more broadly) and said that when I drove past my voting location this morning there were very long lines so I'll be stopping by later... if there are still long lines, so be it.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 07:53 am
7PM? What the hell does that have to do with anything?

They shouldn't report ANYTHING until the next day, once AK and HI have finished voting. It's a ******* crock of ****.
Bella Dea
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:09 am
The line was long at 7:30a this morning. I waited about 45 minutes to vote. I talked to some guy in line the whole time who was clear he was voting for Obama. We used a fill in the blank ballot and then put it in "the machine". I gave my "I voted" sticker to my daughter who was very good while Mommy voted.
ebrown p
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:16 am
@Bella Dea,
Long line at 7:15.

There were a significant number of us (about 20ish people and growing) at our precinct, myself included, who were not on the voting rolls. Almost all of us had voted in the primaries... it was a bit strange an very frustrating.

After waiting for just over an hour in the normal line, those of us with this problem were shunted to what I called the "Group W" line where the poor election official had to call in each name individually.

This line wasn't getting any shorter and the people in it weren't getting any less frustrated.

I felt a little bad for the poll worker-- it clearly wasn't her fault.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:25 am
My polling place at the American Legion opened at 7. I went there about 7:40. The line moved quickly. I was done voting at 8:10 and was the 260th voter of the day.

It helps having optical scan machines. They only had a dozen privacy booths but also had 15 tables set up so people could sit at a table and fill out their ballots if they weren't too concerned about privacy. It takes time to fill in all those circles for 30 judge races. I'm sure a lot of people only voted the front of the ballot for President, Senate, House, state house and a couple of ballot issues.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:39 am
@ebrown p,
Thank god for same day registration. We have it too. It would suck to show up and find out you had been scrubbed from the polls and no way to remedy it

I know the woman in line behind me was surprised to find she wasn't on the voting rolls but all she needed was ID to register again. My polling place had about 7 people in the registration line filling out forms.

There must have been about 12 poll workers at my polling place. 4 at the alphabetical lines for signing voters in. 2 handing out ballots. 1 assisting finding a place to fill out ballot and answering questions about the ballot. 1 assisting inserting ballots into the scanner and taking the ballot covers, 1 handing out "I voted" buttons, 1 greeter out front to assist and let people check if they were registered and at the right polling place. 1 helping direct people at the door to the right tables. There was at least one at the new registration table.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:45 am
On my way to work, I drove over to the elegant but understated Stoneham
Town Hall. I intended to park in the lot. No hope of that. Nor on the street out
front, nor any street intersecting it. So I parked a couple of blocks away and
walked. No sacrifice too great for democracy.

There were sign carriers across the street from Town Hall. I didn't see a
single McCain or Obama sign, they were all for the locals.

We have pretty big auditorium. Each precinct has its own row of portable
booths and its own check-in table. Things moved quickly. Street? Name? Want
a privacy sleeve? Remember to vote on both front and back.

Got my sheet, found an open booth, filled in the little ovals. Civic duty done,
I set off to work. God bless America.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:57 am
@Joe Nation,
I could see no long lines at the Metuchen elementary school when I drove past it. Obviously our city is doing something wrong. If our elections keep running smooth like that, how are we ever going to get on TV?
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 08:59 am
cjhsa wrote:
They shouldn't report ANYTHING until the next day, once AK and HI have finished voting. It's a ******* crock of ****.

I thought I would never say this in my life, but ... I agree with cjhsa.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:01 am
@Joe Nation,
My experience was pleasant and quick.
I voted last week and it took about 15 minutes.
My polling place is a short drive and it was busy.

No dogs or water cannons. No problems.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:04 am
cjhsa wrote:

7PM? What the hell does that have to do with anything?

They shouldn't report ANYTHING until the next day, once AK and HI have finished voting. It's a ******* crock of ****.

HE HE! A bit testy today?


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