Saturday, October 30, 2004

Early Voting

So I went and voted this morning like a good girl. It was PACKED!! Three hour wait . .

All you people who haven't voted yet - allow yourself plenty of time, take a folding chair, a hat, and some water. Whew.

You might want to bring a little light reading, too - say, War & Peace. You'll have enough time to finish it.

Hopefully Tuesday won't be so backed up. More places will be open and anyway, I swear all 700,000 Hillsborough county voters were at the library this morning.

Good things: They do make you sign a little statement that you'll only vote once and that you understand voting twice or illegally gets you a $5000 fine or 5 years in prison.

The voting machines were tested in public and, after the testing was completed, locked down. The Supervisor of Election website had the procedure and invitations to witness the tests up on their website during testing, but it looks like it's gone now.

Anyway, they were tested and locked up, then brought out for voting day. Vital parts of the machines still have locks on them, not to be removed before election day.

The machines register votes in 3 different ways - there IS a paper trail, a CD, and some other way which I forgot. (sorry, but my feet hurt by then).

To vote, you need a photo ID and the signed statement. They don't MAKE you have a voter's ID card, but they 'recommend it.' You get through the line faster if you have it.


Looks like what they're doing for early voting is registering that you voted in a laptop and presumably sending that info over to your regular precinct - possibly they're shipping over your signed statement as well.

The crowd was pretty cheery and sociable. We had a lot of discussions about the amendments and stayed waaay off any actual candidate discussions. I enjoyed it. It's so much easier and more useful to discuss issues and ideas than individuals - and more polite!

Bad Thing I'm not sure how the write-in candidate stuff works on these new machines. In the District 11 House of Rep race, there are three guys running: Jim Davis (d) Bob Johnson (l) and Karl Butt, asswipe socialist. Jim and Bob are on the ballot - but Karl is a write-in and I think the only write-in. The write-in spot is blank on these touch-voting machines. I have a sinking feeling that people who don't want Jim or Bob will hit the write-in spot and not realize who/what they're voting for. I left this spot blank, myself. At ballot completion, the computer told me it was blank in big, bright red letters. "Are you sure? Do you want to go back or do you want to cast your ballot as it?"

They've done everything else so well, presumably they took care of the write-in situation too, but I'd hate for spot-skippers to accidentally vote for a socialist. O well - if FL sends a socialist to the House, we'll know how it happened and fix it next time.

Really, if an individual voter can screw up these machines, that is a person so stupid they probably forget to breathe.

'Nuff! Three hours in line to vote - I'm feeling very patriotic and hungry!!

No comments: