Tuesday, May 02, 2006
It was the first time I used my new polling place. It should have been my second time, but I forgot to re-register to vote w/new address. Since I have never missed a primary or general election I wasn't going to let a little thing like address change stop me from voting. I just drove to my old polling place. Sure, it's a little fraudulent, but nothing like what I fear is coming.
Yes, it was the first time (that I know of) Ohio used electronic voting machines. NIGHTMARE! (say like JoAnn Worley). As usual, I'm there at the crack of dawn - always the first or second person in line. Today I was second! Damnit Willie Chapman for beating me by a minute!!!
Ok - on the best day this process at this new place would have been glacial. Though I have yet to be at an election site where all the volunteers aren't octogenarians, these guys were especially slow and clueless. One looked downright mentally deficient. And Mr. Chapman was a quick as molasses going up a sandy hill.
The old site had maybe eight booths. This place had three. Well.....actually they had one. One working machine. Two either didn't work - or the volunteers didn't know how to set them up. They tried calling the Board of Elections, but no one answered. I only imagine this scenario was being repeated throughout every precinct, in every county, all over the state. YIPEEEEE.
When I finally did get to vote it seemed quick and painless. The machines were very intuitive and responded easily to touch.
Because of all the issues prior to implementing these machines, there is supposed to be a printed copy of your casted ballot. The machine prompts you to print each page. I can hear it printing, but I get and see nothing. I think you're supposed to. The volunteers had no idea.
Some other guy waiting to vote was amazed at all the problems ("well....ain't that a kick in the head!"). I was not. I more than anticipated these things.
There was an official Exit Poller in the room whom while I waited asked if, on my way out, I'd stop by. Sure. I'm all for (re)evaluating this process!
And stop by I did. Of course, I had to wait, b/c Mr. Chapman was s-l-o-w-l-y giving his answers. I'm sure they were the same questions - I mean, it was a pre-printed questionnaire, but the poller seemed stumped at my response that I didn't get a printed ballot to validate. There wasn't even a place on his sheet to mark that answer. I know Mr. Chapman didn't get one either - so why Mr. Poll-Taker was surprised that I didn't was beyond me.
The Exit Guy also axed if they could take contact me later for follow-up if needed. They asked Mr. Chapman too. But they asked me my email address and Mr. Chapman his phone number. Reeks a little of ageism.
The system is so fucked up and apparently easy to hack, is there anyway that most of these elections aren't going to be contested in the courts?
Oh - AND I didn't get an 'I Voted Today' sticker.