Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted - did you?

Last time I wrote a post on voting, back when I lived in Rust Belt Historic District, I reported on the troubles I had with my Diebold touch screen machine and the voting process in general.

This year was much better. Bullock and I didn't have to wait in line to sign in, and only briefly had to wait for a machine to be free. There was some momentary panic on Bullock's end when the card he'd just put into the machine said it had already been read and votes entered, but they gave him a freshly erased card and he was good to go. And the internal paper print-out of the electronic ballot was obvious and open to view, as well as easy to check, page by page, as you printed your ballot.

Still, there was a woman next to me who'd never encountered one of these machines -- either she moved here from a paper ballot place or is one of those people who only vote in presidential elections -- and she clearly wasn't a regular computer user either, and nothing was intuitive to her. I very nearly told her she could opt for a paper ballot instead. There were a lot of people taking that option this year.

As smoothly as our current polling place is always run, there were still three election watchers on hand. I hope that's the case everywhere. I could have used someone like that when I reported in the 2005 state and local elections that my machine wasn't actually printing hard copy ballots!

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