Author Topic: Voting  (Read 7626 times)

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Cat-Fu

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Re: Voting
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 10:37:02 AM »
It took me about 15 minutes to vote in my city, despite the fact that the ballot was like a million pages long (ok, three, but they were big pages). It probably helped that I was prepared and knew exactly what I was voting for each thing already, but there were people who had been in their booths when I came in still trying to figure out what to vote for when I left. There was a bit of delay as the fellow in line in front of me was blind and the poll workers weren't really certain what to do with him. (There was a machine for him to use, so I'm not sure why they were so baffled.)

I think a lot of times the issue is that there simply aren't enough poll workers and polling places, though. (Poll workers are also paid in MA.)
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Luci

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Re: Voting
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 10:47:32 AM »
All of my voting life, since 1968, I never had to wait for more than 4 other people in front of me. That is in a city of 1,000,000 and now a city of 7,000, in the USA.

I wonder about your question, too, often.

The second Tuesday after the first Monday of Nov * as Election Day as in Article II of the Constitution. Most work places make allowances for voting day, and polls in most places are open 6AM-7AM, and now we have early voting easier to do, so just about everyone is accomodated.

*That merely means that Nov 1 can never be Election Day.

Decimus

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Re: Voting
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2012, 11:23:42 AM »
It took me 40 minutes or so to vote (in NYC).  The room was a school cafeteria and they'd left the tables in situ instead of folding them up, which reduced the amount of room.  The sign-in line took 5-10 minutes per person, in part because they had to stop and explain the voting procedure to every-single-person as they approached and in part because they didn't seem very capable (the woman looked past my name on the page twice until I pointed it out, upside down from my point of view).  Then I had to go to a second line to fill out the ballot, which too another 5 minutes of waiting, and found someone had swiped all the pens the workers insisted were there (and which were supposed to be chained to the podiums).  I had to use my own pen.  Then I had to go to the scanner line -- which meant walking ACROSS the line for the sign-in.  That line wasn't too long.  But there were 3 machines for 4 or 5 districts, and one was broken, and a second was acting up.  And people kept confusing the scanner line for one of the district sign-in lines because they were next to each other. 

It was an unholy mess, to be sure.

Sophia

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Re: Voting
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2012, 11:48:12 AM »
All of my voting life, since 1968, I never had to wait for more than 4 other people in front of me. That is in a city of 1,000,000 and now a city of 7,000, in the USA.

I wonder about your question, too, often.

The second Tuesday after the first Monday of Nov * as Election Day as in Article II of the Constitution. Most work places make allowances for voting day, and polls in most places are open 6AM-7AM, and now we have early voting easier to do, so just about everyone is accomodated.

*That merely means that Nov 1 can never be Election Day.


I've often wondered too.  Well, not really wondered, after all it is government efficiency in action.  I feel thankful that I live someplace where the local government is less stupid. 

The last primary I had to wait in a long line and it really annoyed me.  I knew what had happened.  In the previous presidential primary, a substantial number of people were voting in the non-dominant parties primary.  Not me, but a really large percentage.  It caused the line for the non-dominant parties primary to be very very long, and the other to be empty.  For the primary this year, they had switched a majority of the voting machines over to the non-dominant party, and people voting in the dominant party had a really long line.  Government!

jmarvellous

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Re: Voting
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2012, 11:50:03 AM »
We had no wait voting two Saturdays before the election in Texas. It was pretty crowded at the mall polling station, but most people were going straight to the next free machine.

We've used these machines since at least 2004 in my city, so most people are familiar with them. You use a dial turned clockwise to move down the ballot (counterclockwise to go back up) and a button to select. It's pretty easy, but they also have workers available to show you how. They are little upright kiosks, no curtains, and sadly no paper trail.

Even with a change of address, it didn't take me terribly long, less than 10 minutes, because I read up on the 18 county/city propositions in advance. BF took several minutes longer. That is why I always vote early.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Voting
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2012, 12:03:20 PM »
The volunteers in our voting district are almost all elderly retirees, and yes, they do tend to move rather slow; that was only part of the problem though. Our holdup seemed to be at least partially due to not having enough cardboard "sleeves" to go around - seven sleeves available for the thousands of voters in our district; voting without a sleeve was not an option either.

I had to leave the voting line because I would have been late for work. I had been waiting for half an hour and the line did.not.move. I returned after work and got through the line in about an hour.

I do think that (1) voting SHOULD be compulsory and (2) it should necessarily be a smoother process than it currently is.

What is a cardboard sleeve?

I voted early and only had to wait around 20 minutes around 4pm at a place close to our house. 

I've always wondered why some polling places have such long lines.  Didn't know if it was because they had a much higher turn out for their precint then expected, didn't have enough workers, or weren't able to secure enough voting booths.

portiafimbriata

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Re: Voting
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2012, 12:29:51 PM »
I think it's also called a ballot secrecy sleeve - hides your ballot choices so others can't see them. I don't know if every district uses them or not, but my district is adamant that they be used.
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: Voting
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2012, 12:35:26 PM »
I voted early, I also went three times before I voted because of the long lines - so four trips to get to vote.  This is mostly because of my own impatience. 

I am in west Texas (Midland) and we vote with easy to operate touch screen tablets.  The ballot was not that long and there were only two amendments on the local issues.  It actually takes about 5 minutes to select, review and push CAST BALLOT to be finished. 

I think we just had sheer numbers turn out to vote this time.  I also went to the main early voting site, there were three others that did very little activity and I could have gone to any of those and probably voted on the first try.

My daughter voted on Tuesday and she said there were no lines at the church for our precinct, but she voted around 10:30 in the morning also. 


Hmmmmm

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Re: Voting
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2012, 12:36:37 PM »
I think it's also called a ballot secrecy sleeve - hides your ballot choices so others can't see them. I don't know if every district uses them or not, but my district is adamant that they be used.

Thanks, we don't use any type of manual ballots anymore.  Only voting machines.

Kaypeep

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Re: Voting
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2012, 12:45:49 PM »

I think the long lines are exceptions rather than the norm, but the media likes to focus on anything dramatic so you see more about the polls that have long wait times when 99 out of 100 of the poll centers operate just fine.  I'm from NYC and had no issues.

In Florida, however, there were some areas that had wait times as long as 4 to 7 hours, according to the news.  The reason for this vary, but seem to be a cumulative affect of various issues:

- Not enough scanners to process the ballots, resulting in a backlog of people waiting to cast ballots.
- 10 page ballots because the residents in those areas were voting on referendums, so they were taking longer to read all the descriptions of the referendums.
- Due to long lines, many residents decided to complete absentee ballots instead, so those have to be processed differently and take longer to do manually.
- some voting centers ran out of ballots (they are numbered, to prevent fraud, so it's not easy to just use something else.)

HorseFreak

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Re: Voting
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2012, 01:18:42 PM »
I think it's also called a ballot secrecy sleeve - hides your ballot choices so others can't see them. I don't know if every district uses them or not, but my district is adamant that they be used.

I think my area was supposed to have sleeves judging by how they were referenced on the instruction signs, but I never actually saw one. Of course we didn't even have privacy dividers and it felt like a high school cafeteria so that might be asking a lot.

TXJess

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Re: Voting
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2012, 02:01:21 PM »
I live in Texas north of Houston. I early voted on a Saturday (10/27), and even though the parking lot was pretty full and there seemed to be a lot of people walking in with me, I was in and out in less than 10 minutes.

We used the electronic voting machines that you use a scroll wheel to select your choices. As I was walking in, a gentleman told me to have my ID ready and turn any electronics off. Then a lady swiped my ID, had me confirm my name, birthdate, and address on a little screen, and then a worker next to her printed out a little receipt with a number on it for me to enter into the voting machine. Since I had already gone though all the candidates on my ballot and made my decisions beforehand, it didn't take me very long to vote. The room was set up with probably 50 booths, 5 rows of 10. I'm not sure what this location looked like on election day, but I doubt the lines were very long since they seemed to be pretty efficient.

This was my second time voting. The first time I was in a different county and polling location, but my experience was pretty similar. I early voted the Saturday before, and the wait was probably 10-20 minutes and everything moved pretty smoothly. I'm definitely going to stick to early voting unless I absolutely can't get around to it! I hate lines!

Cat-Fu

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Re: Voting
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2012, 02:17:06 PM »
We had the secrecy sleeves at my voting place this year and I had to laugh because they weren't quite long enough to actually hide the portion regarding presidential votes. It was very pointless. :P
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Voting
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2012, 02:24:40 PM »
Oh, I didn't mention the parking - another frustration  >:(  My voting place was at a church in a kind of weird mixed section of town - end result is there wasn't really any close parking spaces other than the church lot itself.  (It was mostly surrounded by apartment buildings with strict "DO NOT PARK HERE" lots.)  The church lot wasn't that big to begin with, and there were several political activists yelling and handing out things.  Some were helpful - helping people find places to park - but there was a contingent from the party opposite the majority in my district whose purpose there seemed to be just to take up parking spots and to discourage people from voting  >:(  It took a good ~10 minutes of circling the lot before I found an empty spot.

Layla Miller

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Re: Voting
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2012, 02:26:37 PM »
There was only one person ahead of me when I voted, but I went at about 1:00 PM and I live in a very rural town at the moment (approx. 300 people), so that probably has something to do with it.  When I lived in a larger city during the 2008 election, I did have a long line, although I think it was less than half an hour.

I voted early, I also went three times....

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