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US Voters: Tell us, how was it?

 
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:14 am
I mailed my absentee ballot two weeks ago. Hope it gets counted.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:14 am
@squinney,
You'll be testy too, because you'll soon find out your daughter voted for McCain -- just to annoy her father.
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:21 am
I just voted. The line was pretty long, outside the building, down around the corner, and about a hundred feet down the block from there. It wasn't that long a wait though. I waited, thinking excitedly about how the country will change if my candidate wins. After about twenty minutes, I went into the booth and voted, still very excited. As I pulled the lever to register my vote, I had an involuntary orgasm all over myself. I used my voter registration card to hide the stain on my crotch and ran out of there as fast as I could. I'm excited!!!
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:25 am
@Thomas,
We got to the YMCA at about 7 AM which is the official start of voting for Mass. However, there was already a line of maybe 40 - 50 people. The poll workers had us form 2 lines and then we waited for a while as they tried to find people from precinct 13 which had the shortest line so they could just get those people out quickly (we didn't qualify for that).

Once we got into the gymnasium it was faster, got our cards and sleeves and went to separate little booths. Marked everything with a black magic marker, making sure to mark on the other side, too.

We went over to where they record whether you've voted and RP went ahead of me. Then the police officer asked for my address, realized it was the same address and asked if I was his better half. They also had Halloween candy -- we didn't take any. Pushed our cards through the reader and handed our privacy sleeves to the poll worker. Then we went out and ran for a bus. I got into work only about 25 minutes later than usual. The whole process took about that long.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:44 am
[email protected]

Voted Absentee two weeks ago. But there are some dudes standing outside with 'honks for Obama!' signs; and the noise is deafening, it woke us up today!

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 09:57 am
@parados,
I had been so concerned about the possibly of long lines because I have a very bad back, and I just can't stand on a line for any length of time. And where I live, we do not have early voting and we normally have about a 90% turnout in a presidential election, so I was expecting the worst. One of our small local papers even suggested that people bring beach chairs, so that they could sit down if they were stuck on a line for hours.

Boy, did I get a delightful surprise...I was in and out of the polling place in under 10 minutes. Very Happy

The polls opened at 6am and I was at the polling place at 6:50. I found a parking spot right outside the door to the building (our community recreation center). There was a steady stream of people entering and leaving. There were about five Election Districts voting in one large room, with each ED having one voting machine. We still use the old-fashioned mechanical booths--you pull a handle to close the curtain and you pull down levers over each candidate's name to cast your ballot. This makes voting very fast--average time in the booth seemed to be about 15 seconds. There were only about 8-10 people on each of the lines to vote, and no lines to sign in before voting. Everything was calm, orderly, and moved along quickly--just as it usually is around here. I live in a relatively small residential suburban community of one family homes, so there is no great density of people turning out the polls, except between 5pm-9pm after people come home from work. I did not see any younger people, or people who appeared to be first time voters.

What surprised me was the lack of sample ballots available for people to look at. There was only one on the sign-in table when they really should have had a stack of them. They also did not have a little mini version of the ballot inside the voting booth, including the levers, so that they could show first time voters how to use the machine if they had any questions. Perhaps there was one elsewhere on another sign-in table. Had they had more sample ballots I might have taken one and realized there were propositions on the ballot. I also hadn't had time to look through my daily paper before I went to vote because they did mention the propositions. So, I just missed the propositions completely because I didn't look for them when I was in the booth and I just hadn't heard anything about them beforehand.

I guess there were at least 10 parties listed on the ballot. I glanced at the list but was mainly focused on the top two lines of the major parties.

I understand this is the last year we will be using those old-fashioned voting booths. I'm sorry about that, I really like them. They do break down once in a while, but not very often, and they do make voting very fast and easy.

There is nothing under the sun that would ever keep me from voting. I have voted in every general election, and every primary, since I have been eligible to vote. And I must say, I still find it an exciting experience to cast my ballot--and this year it was even more so because I was truly enthusistic about my vote for president. I have never doubted whether my vote matters, nor should anyone.

It's rather neat that some retailers are giving freebees to people who have voted--Starbucks is giving a free cup of coffee, Baskin Robbins is giving a free cup of ice cream, and a local resturant has a coupon in today's paper for $5 off a $10 order to anyone who simply says they have voted today. I didn't need an incentive to vote, but I might go out to that restaurant for lunch, and stop by at Baskin Robbins for some ice cream on my way home. Very Happy
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:03 am
@firefly,
its 8 am here im about to go vote!!

cant wait, i hope obama isnt a complete crook under all that well spokeness.......
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:10 am
@OGIONIK,
City hall is hoppin' today.

Must be 5 cars there all the time, and we must be pulling voters from the outlying rural area as well. (there is only 400 of us, and half is kids) I am waiting to see if we get the horse and buggy crowd or not...

Not a lot of Obama happening in middle Kansas, but we knew that already.
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:11 am
@Rockhead,
who u votin for rocky?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:12 am
@OGIONIK,
Obama, but my vote don't count here in Kansas, too many nun guts...

(fortunately we have very few electoral votes, anyway)

I console myself with the thought that Michigan is going blue, and all cj can do is sit and cry. (they got lots more votes than Kansas)
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:24 am
@Joe Nation,
What was your experience like? Quick and easy
Did you have new voting machines, paper ballots or was it all digital? Fill-in-the-bubble paper ballots
Any place still using punchcards? No
Did you talk to anyone in line? No
Were the helpers helpful? Sure
Did you see anyone having difficulty? Maybe they couldn't find their name? Maybe their place had already been signed? Yes. A guy two up from me couldn't vote because both his first name and address were slightly off (dunno by how much)
Did you drive someplace to vote or was it within walking distance of your home? Walking distance - 2 blocks
How long did it take from the moment you arrived until you actually voted? maybe 15 minutes
Did you vote earlier this week? no
Did you vote before you went to work or school or did you wait until the early evening? I voted at 10 am -ish
What else was being voted on? Bond issues? For what? Schools?, water or other services? whether to: 1) reduce income tax, 2) ban dog racing, 3) reduce sentence for carrying less than an ounce of pot.
Did you also for a seat in Congress or the US Senate? several
What parties, other than the Democrats and the GOP, were on the ballot? for prez? McKinney, Barr and another guy (?)
How many other Presidential elections have you participated in and how did this one compare? Maybe 6, similar experience

I planned to get there at an off-time. Apparently it was. I brought knitting and a book, even a water bottle. There were maybe 15 people in line.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:30 am
We're having a bowl of Cheerios and an orange and getting ready to go vote. No idea what to expect. The longest time I've ever had to stand in line was 3 hours to vote in 1988 and we lived out in the country at that time. Shortest time was no wait at all in the most recent primary. No idea what to expect today.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:43 am
@Thomas,
sorry buddy....all Obama family. Wink
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:44 am
@Bi-Polar Bear,
in and out like a fiddler's elbow....easy peasy.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:52 am
@Joe Nation,
I voted!

I voted I voted I voted I voted I voted!!

I walked and I had a grin on my face all the way there and all the way back. Most of the time during too.

Stupendously gorgeous day. Ridiculously gorgeous, Hollywood gorgeous. Blue sky, flaming trees, balmy temperatures.

By the time I got there, lines were nice and short. The whole thing took me about 45 minutes, with walk time; maybe 20 of that was actually voting.

I ran into a fellow-volunteer on the way there, who had done her voting a week or so ago. She recommended that I ask for a paper ballot -- that freaked me out a little bit. We use touch screens here and she said that sometimes they were switching -- like, you'd choose Obama but McCain would register as the vote. I've seen stuff about that elsewhere too. She said if I went ahead with the touch screen, just be sure that the little receipt thing that prints on the side printed Obama as my choice.

Did that. Seemed to go smoothly. One annoyance was that it frequently didn't "take" the first time... I'd touch the screen, nothing would happen. I'd push harder, I'd push somewhere else within the rectangle indicating my choice, eventually I'd get there and it would "take."

I kept an eye on the receipt thingie throughout, it did what it was supposed to do.

I stopped by the local Obama office on the way home and asked 'em if they needed anything. There was a guy I hadn't seen before with official credentials -- a real paid Obama staffer there for the day to help out. We talked about what I can and can't do 'cause I'm deaf, and settled on some sort of paperwork thingie which I didn't completely grasp but which I established a) is straightforward once I see it and b) doesn't require hearing, so I'll be back at 12:30 to do that. Then will be deployed wherever is useful from then on.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:54 am
@sozobe,
Yay Soz!

Cycloptichorn
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 10:56 am
Of all days, it's (finally) raining here in southern California, but the voters
are out there in huge numbers and standing in line.

I myself have voted a few weeks back via mail, but I do have three voting stations close to my house, so I can see the traffic coming and going and the
people standing in line. Everyone seems to be in such a good mood, everyone wants to be part of "making history" today - great day, despite the rain, that is, we actually welcome the rain.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 11:03 am
@Cycloptichorn,
It was great...I was in line with bunches of people - all talking and laughing and just seemed relaxed. I saw a friend and her baby and got to hold and enjoy little Anna Beth until I got to the place where I signed my name. I got my ballot and filled it out and stuck it in the machine...it was lovely. I live in rural Shelby County, Alabama - probably makes a difference.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 11:03 am
@CalamityJane,
Bi-Polar Bear and Bluveinedthrobber both voted for Obama today...
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 11:04 am
@Cycloptichorn,
<terrorist fist-bumps Cyclo>
0 Replies
 
 

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