US Voters: Tell us, how was it?

Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 12:57 pm
Found a sample ballot, here they are:

Barack Obama - D
Joe Biden

John McCain - R
Sarah Palin

Chuck Baldwin - CON
Darrell Castle

Bob Barr - L
Wayne Allen Root

Cynthia McKinney - G
Rosa Clemente

Donald K. Allen - U
Christopher D. Borcik

Jonathan Allen
Jeffrey D. Stath

Richard Duncan - WI
Ricky Johnson

Brian Moore - S
Stewart Alexander

Ralph Nader - I
Matt Gonzalez

James R. Germalic
Martin Wishnatsky

Alan L. Keyes
Brian Rohrbough

Platt Robertson
Scott Falls

Joe Schriner - WI
Dale Way

(I get all the abbreviations except for "WI"...) (Edit: It's "Write In")
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 01:00 pm
I was surprised that I only had to name my name and once it was found on the list I was off to cast my vote by scan-tron without an ID check.

There was no line and no waiting at all at 9:30 am

Virtually pain-free outside of all the CA props to vote on - but I'm not complaining
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 01:00 pm
Yeah, they checked off my name on the roll, the worker signed and I counter-signed. I noticed that several folks on the same sheet had "Voted Early" pre-printed where they would have signed.

Texans have to show some form of ID: driver's license, voter ID card, utility bill, or somesuch. Picture ID not required.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 01:21 pm
@Joe Nation,
Tell us, was your precinct crowded, uncrowded, were there goof-ups or did things go smoothly? Uncrowded. I was number 170 at 11:30 a.m.
What was your experience like? Very straightforward
Did you have new voting machines, paper ballots or was it all digital? Paper ballots.
Any place still using punchcards?
Did you talk to anyone in line? No
Were the helpers helpful? Well, they were there.
Did you see anyone having difficulty? Maybe they couldn't find their name? No. Maybe their place had already been signed? No
Did you drive someplace to vote or was it within walking distance of your home? Walking distance, but looked like rain. I drove.
How long did it take from the moment you arrived until you actually voted? About 15 minutes
Did you vote earlier this week? No. We only get to vote once, here.
Did you vote before you went to work or school or did you wait until the early evening? N/A. Retired
What else was being voted on? Bond issues? For what? Schools?, water or other services? Bond issues and state constitutional amendments. All clearly written
Did you also for a seat in Congress or the US Senate? Both.
What parties, other than the Democrats and the GOP, were on the ballot? For president, we had Green, Independent, Libertarian, and Constitutional. Constitutional Party!? Never heard of it.How many other Presidential elections have you participated in and how did this one compare? Eight or ten. This is the lightest turnout I've seen, though they were expecting a "big rush" at lunch time.

No ID required at all. I gave my name, the found it on the list and asked me to confirm the address. Wow! Major security.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:03 pm
We had early voting Friday, 1/2 day Saturday and yesterday. The only place you could vote was at the Election Board, and thousands of people stood in line for hours. (Not us!) Local news kept telling everyone there would be even longer lines at polling places today.

I intended to wait to vote until after the lunch hour was over, but as I drove past my polling place, I noticed there were only a half dozen cars in the parking lot. So I stopped. When I went in, there was no line. Only 2 people marking ballots. I said, "I thought there was supposed to be a long line!" One of the workers said there had been a big crowd earlier. Guess I just hit it at the right time.

Who would've thought that 12:30 would be the right time?!
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:07 pm
@Joe Nation,
Got to the polling place about 15 minutes before it opened (5:45). Waited with my wife for about 30 minutes, then jumped to the front of the line and deposited my Early Ballot in the box, and headed to work. My wife waited another 45 minutes in line before she voted. It's the paper ballot type you feed into the machine.

I will be at the McCain Phoenix Election Headquarters tonight. I'm less optimistic than my wife that it will be a celebratory event.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:10 pm
Some places don't require ID? That is scary to me.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:28 pm
mismi wrote:

Some places don't require ID? That is scary to me.

Why's that?
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:28 pm
I drove past Agnor-Hurt Elementar School at 5:45 am to check it out. There are only about 30 parking places and the driveway curves up a hill. There is an awkward left turn to get into the school at that time of day on a 3 lane road. A lot of commuters coming from the other direction. There were 3 police cars there, lights flashing, with the cops working on a plan of how they would control the traffic. I drove past and went to my store.
We open at 8:30 and I was astounded at how virtually every customer was wearing one of those I Voted! stickers.
And people were excited to talk about their voting experience. Some lines, but there was the option to vote using the machines or by paper ballot. No one expressed unhappiness about anything.
Charlottesville in particular and, to only a lesser extent, the surrounding Albemarle County, are solidly blue. People were confidant about the outcome.
I left the shop at 11:15 and got to the school at 11:30. No line. They had broken down the alphabet at the check-in table from 3 divisions to 5. So instead of being in what would have been the A-H line, I was sent to the A-F one. There was a bank of chairs set up where, had there been a delay in getting to one of four machines, folks could sit and wait their turn. But I strolled right in.
I only had 3 things to vote on: the Presidential race, The race for a vacant U.S. Senate seat, and the race for a U.S. House seat. No state constitunional amendments etc. Touch Screen.
My only complaints: for some reason, my precinct always gives out the cheesiest looking I Voted! stickers. I have noticed that for years. Other precincts have cool looking ones, but ours look like they belong in some godforsaken place like Kansas. They might as well read I Voted...Sigh. And the school PTO has stopped doing the bake sale on the way out.
I was back in my car at 11:38.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:30 pm
Awesome, glad you didn't have to stand in a long line.

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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:32 pm
From my cousin in DC:

At 3 p.m. on Election Day, the Foundry Methodist Church voting station in Dupont Circle was doing light but brisk business. As I signed my name to receive my ballot, one of the poll workers loudly asked another to ring the small bell on their table. "Everyone please listen up for a moment," he boomed while holding on to an old black woman standing perhaps 5'2" with a huge grin. "This is our special voter of the day. She's 95 years old and this is her first time voting." As everyone in the room took her in and the thundering applause echoed through the old church basement, her glinting eyes quickly teared up and she somehow managed an even bigger smile.

Who knows exactly what made her vote for the first time in her life today. But I'd like to think I know.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:36 pm
Ticomaya wrote:
I will be at the McCain Phoenix Election Headquarters tonight. I'm less optimistic than my wife that it will be a celebratory event.

I'm sorry I can't wish the two of you good luck -- but I wish you both well.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 02:49 pm
@Joe Nation,
Here in the woods of New Hampshire, I voted at 7:30 this morning at a local elementary school.

The process was quick and efficient. The area was very active with lots of people coming and going, but there were no lines at the time I was there. I was done in 10 minutes and outa there.

Nobody checked my ID, but they crossed me off the list when I checked in.
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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:05 pm
I voted early - here: http://able2know.org/topic/124812-1

I found it comfortable, compared to the last local election, where I voted on election day and had to find a) the school, b) a place to park , c) find my way to the voting room, d) decipher the ballot , but never mind that, e) get home before dark, a personal issue.
I remember being confused - re if just checking all one party would cover that part of the ballot - sort of a trust issue. (I don't always vote all one party.)

This time, dys and d and I went before lunch and grocery bop, and it turned out to be fairly convivial as an experience. The interviewing lady and I got to talk in small aliquots, though not politics... she liked my shirt - no, not an Obama one, but some sort of ranchy khaki work shirt. (yes, I know, no politicking within certain number of feet of poll.)

I used to live across the street from a polling place, an elementary school, and we were very cognizant re what was appropriate or not on voting day. Friday, the whole room seemed polite and paying attention to rules.

Anyway, the room in waiting for a call to an interview and an empty booth seemed cool.
My own primo interest was in hearing my name called, since I'm hard-of-hearing. Not a problem. And past that, I figure if I hadn't have heard, they would have paced around until they found me.

I did see a refreshment table in the bowels of the voting area. Considered at least saying hello, since I'm all for the volunteers, but was zoned in on getting my ballot in the macchina.

Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:15 pm
I keep checking CNN and boston.com...... I actually have butterflies!
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:27 pm
I know...!

I'm all emotional too... keep tearing up at the many stories like DrewDad's I'm seeing. (DrewDad, was that your cousin's own story? If so, Andrew Sullivan featured it as one of his "The View From Your Election" stories...)
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:29 pm
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:31 pm
Laughing I understand, osso.
Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:32 pm
I voted by mail about 3 weeks ago, took my ballot to the post office and asked for a receipt for the extra postage I had to buy due to the number of pages in the ballot this time.

I made 50 local GOTV phone calls this morning. Most had already voted or were planning to do so after work.

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Reply Tue 4 Nov, 2008 03:37 pm

He sent us the link when Sullivan posted it.

My aunt also 'fessed up to voting Democrat for the first time in her life. She said McCain's VP choice just couldn't be countenanced.

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