Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vote Early

I really didn't have much of a wait when I voted early the other day. There was a line, but the volunteers at the poll were really moving us through the registration portion, and they had a good number of booths.

Apparently Travis County has already seen a large early voting count, and I'm betting your locality will, too. I'm also betting the turnout for this election will be huge, and that can translate into some lengthy lines on November 4th. And while I like exercising my rights and privilege as an American as much as the next guy, standing in the cold in a line before work isn't something I'd do if I could avoid it.

And that's the miracle of early voting (especially if you've been pretty sure how you were voting on all ballot items for a while). I don't know how it is where you live, but Travis Co. seems to have done a very good job of getting a multitude of sites up with convenient hours.

See what your office policy is for giving you time off for voting (or figure out how to dump the kids on someone else for half an hour) and get out there and get to the polls before early voting ends in your area.

Also, make sure you understand how the vote is cast at your polling location. Apparently the same locality in Florida with the hanging chads of 2000 has been through several voting options as they've tried to find a system that works for voters. They've had trouble with people misunderstanding how the ballots of different types scored votes and the stories would be funny if it weren't such a mess.

I'm a bit uncomfortable with Travis Co.'s current system as it doesn't give the voter a receipt or paper trail. I double checked all my selections before hitting "submit ballot", but I've worked in IT long enough to know... that means absolutely nothing unless you have a way to verify your selections after the fact. But for now, I'm taking it on faith that the system is working.


Jill said...

There, unfortunately, is no early voting in Michigan, so we'll take Bud to the polls with us on Tuesday. He came with us last time, too (actually, he always comes--my parents always took us. Funny, the Dem line in North Hampton was always 3 people long, so we were always quick. I think that teaching kids about their civic duty--and that it is but one of our civic duties--to vote is so important.), in Atlanta. I have no feeling for how many people will show up for the general election here--we usually have light turnout for primaries.

We also have electronic voting with no paper trail. It does make me nervous. Personally, I am just ready for the gloom and doom ads for local races and issues to be off of my television. I mean, if you are basing your vote on what you learn from an advertisement, you already know how you're voting.

The League said...

Does this mean you aren't tuning in for the 30 minute Obama-thon tonight? (I keep hoping it's shockingly close to the Star Wars Holiday Special, complete with Bea Arthur singing)

Glad to hear Bud is making it out to the polls. I have visions of him in one of those straw campaign hats. But am a little surprised to hear North Hampton was breaking voters down by party. Sorta defeats the secret ballot process.

I never voted in Spring as I turned 18 after the '92 election, and don't think I ever cast a ballot until the '96 election. Odd, as I've voted here at least 4 times since moving here two years ago.

Jill said...

Maybe it was just for the primaries when you had to vote by party. I think my dad always got to choose because he was (and maybe still is) registered independent.
I'm not sure if we'll tune in. I mean, I'm fairly sure that nothing either of them could say would make me think that I should vote for McCain, or that Palin is ready to be president in the occasion of the unthinkable.

The League said...

That makes some sense. I don't even recall how it was handled here this year, but I think I had to identify at the desk at Randall's while voting. The memory that sticks with me is the goofy Texas Caucus and how they sped things up by moving Clinton folks to one side and Obama folks to the other. But it was all very friendly.

I probably won't watch the infomercial either. I am curious to see what Barack is cooking, but (a) I voted already, and (b) ADD hurts my brain when I watch stuff like that too long.

FYI: Obama will be on the Daily Show tonight. Clips should be up tomorrow.

J.S. said...

The League didn't mention this, but if you're planning on voting Republican, there's going to be a "special election" for you to vote on November 5th. There's going to be free cake and ice cream, clowns, and elephant rides for the kids. Don't forget to hold out to vote until NOVEMBER 5 if you're voting for McCain, kids!!!

The League said...

That DOES sound like fun.

If I knew they were doing that, I would have held out until Wednesday for the clowns myself.

Anonymous said...

Am I remembering wrong.... or was it mostly Democrats that were clamoring for electronic voting machines some 10+ years ago?? I seem to remember that being in the political wind. Why was that??

The League said...

I can't say that I honestly remember. It sounds kind of familiar. I think our understanding of technology has changed greatly in the past ten years, and my faith is humanity to simply believe in the system has dropped to zero.

It MAY have been in the post-hanging-chad scenario where the push of a button seemed much more logical than all the ridiculousness of how they set up paper ballots (why they don't all just use "fill in the bubble" sheets for paper voting is beyond me).

Anonymous said...

Scan Tron!