Exercising My Franchise

I got up early this morning, eschewing the usual two or sometimes three snoozes on the alarm, put on some jeans and a ratty t-shirt and drove over to my polling place to vote this morning. I realized as I got out of the car that my bedhead was quite spectacular, and that I hoped the little old ladies that run my precinct in Fairlington would still let me vote despite looking not a whit like my drivers’ license. But away I went, past the campaign signs in the school parking lot (how’s that work, exactly? Hi, I’m a candidate, can I put my propaganda up in your school? Yes? Sweet!) and past the cold looking Republican with a brush cut handing out sample ballots, and past his similarly cold Democrat doing the same.

I went in, identified myself, and cast my ballot on a little touchscreen computer. That concerns me, as it always does, because there’s no paper proof that the computer will see my vote the way I did, which is cause for concern in black-box voting systems. Oh, how I long for the scantron sheets I used in Alexandria in 2000. At least there was a paper trail…

Have you voted today? Tell us your voting story.

5 Comments so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 12:46 pm

    I live in DC, so no voting for me today.

    But the mayorial electioneering for next year has definitely begun in earnest – signs popping up all over my neighborhood, “Think Cropp,” “Fenty for Mayor,” it’s going to be very interesting…

  2. Stacey (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 1:24 pm

    From my earlier post, it’s clear that I voted… but DID I?!?

    Here’s the thought I left out. I walked in to my Cherrydale neighborhood polling place and they asked my name. I told them. She crossed me off (with a pen) on a paper SPREADSHEET, and pointed to the little booth where I would cast my ballot.

    Um, really? How many times or places could I do that? No driver’s license, nada – she did ask for my street, but please.

    Which, Tom, leads me to my confusion – electronic vote casting, but PAPER and PENCIL spreadsheets for voters?!

  3. Amy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 3:02 pm

    I ventured out in the wee hours of the morning to my polling place in Woodbridge. There were too few fellow voters with me. However, in a really weird twist of fate, one of my best friends from high school was one of the volunteers at my polling place. She was the last person I expected to see. Like Tom, I’m very leery of these new-fangled voting machines. There’s just too much that could go wrong.

  4. WFY (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 8:03 am

    I voted, but this time, they moved the polling place out of my apartment building and into one down the street. Man, democracy sucks…

  5. Don (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 10:22 am

    Thankfully those of us over the Loudoun border are less ‘advanced’ – my vote was done on a heavy stock printed piece of paper where I marked my choices, SAT style, in a little bubble. When I was done I walked over to the man in front of a device that optically scanned the results and captured the sheet, presumably so it could be hand-tallied in case of questions or recounts.

    My original intent will always be able to be discerned. Nyah nyah, suckers – enjoy your Diebold-chosen officials.

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