Election Day

The mid-term election is finally here! No more political ads! No more phone calls asking for my vote!

I voted first thing this morning as I always do. My polling place has switched from punch cards to both touch screen and optical scanning devices. I used the touch screen system during a recent local election and found it to be cumbersome and quite a bit slower than punch cards. There are also only five machines at my polling place, so people get backed up pretty quickly. I’m sure things will get better as people get more familiar with the systems, but this morning I watched over and over as poll workers had to keep giving tutorials on how to use the machines for every voter. The need to activate the machine for each voter also slowed things down, with three machines sitting open waiting for someone to activate them.

I used the optical scanning system this morning since everyone has been saying that doing so is your ticket to getting in and out quickly. There was definitely a numerical advantage as there were twice as many stations to complete paper ballots as touch screen. Unfortunately people seem to be incapable of filling in the ovals in a timely manner. I saw people five or six ahead of me go up to vote who were still there when I turned in my ballot to be scanned. I can’t imagine what was taking them so long unless they hadn’t bothered to decide how they were voting until they saw the ballot. if someone hasn’t made a decision by election day, they should seriously consider staying home that day.

Now we wait….