Voter Experience Open Thread

How was your experience?

By Adam C Posted in Comments (34) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

I sent in my absentee ballot a few weeks ago. Alas, OK will elect a Democratic GOV and my representative (John Sullivan) is in fine shape. The LT. Gov. race is close. So we'll see.

How was your experience? Long lines? Crazy activists? Required ID? White out sprayed on the rolls?

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Walked in at 7:50am, was done at 7:55am. Ohio now requires ID and I got briefly questioned about an old address on my drivers license (Ohio no longer allows you to get a new license when you move), but the process itself wasa simple and the Diebold machine worked fine (as far as I could tell).

"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

Not for changing address. I guess you could tell them you lost it and have it changed, but its really not worth the hassle and Ohio's voter ID law does not require your drivers license address to be current anyways.

feeble, inconsequential votes for John Faso for NY Governor and John Spencer for Senate. Maybe Governor Spitzer and Senator Clinton are inevitable, but as the left is fond of saying, "not in my name!"

On first day of early voting in Bay County, Fl. They checked my ID against voter registration roll (in other words, a democrat's nightmare). They asked me what my address was after I gave them my ID, I guess for one more quick check. Touch screen worked perfectly. I was in and out. Voted all Republican. Rock on.

The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us - Voltaire

You can read mine in the user blogs. I live on the border of Massachusetts and Connecticut, almost smackdab in the middle of the state. Smooth as silk and it took less than 10 minutes.

I took advantage of the opportunity of the early voting laws here in Northeast Florida. Of course, I voted before the Crist snub and I put out my wasted vote on Katherine Harris. Of note, we used those nefarious touch screens, and well, if you can't figure it out, maybe you shouldn't vote at all. It was easy, and very smooth. Of course, anything beats dimpled chads and such. Oh well, we'll have a Crist as Governor, Bill Nelson returned as a Senator (oh what might have been if only JEB had run for the Senate) and our lock stock solid RED Congressman, John Mica.

"We make war that we may live in peace."

I was in line at 7:10 and waited about 50 minutes. People were awfully slow in completing their ballots... painfully slow. I thought the turnout seemed pretty heavy, but two people back I heard a lady mention that two years ago the line was three times as long that early in the morning.

Now this is in an uber-Liberal area of St. Louis - known as the Central West End. So, perhaps turnout is low here for the Liberal side. Heaven only knows...

We're keeping our fingers crossed and our prayers strong for a Talent victory and a Prop. 2 defeat.

voted for Santorum, Lynn Swann, Charlie Dent, and GOP the rest of the way though for state REP and state senate.
I didn't have any problems, it was calm and organized there, with virtually no lines.

But I still don't trust those machines. No Paper-Trail at all. I would much prefer a Scan-Tron type thing getting printed out and then I look it over to make sure it's straight before I put it in the ballot box...

"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal comfort... has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
--John Stuart Mill

I didn’t notice anything “funny” except for a sign asking for Republicans and independents to serve as election judge (there are supposed to be an equal number of judges from both parties) and an older woman asked me I would like to volunteer but I told her “no thanks” as I had a busy day at the office.

Voting itself went fairly smoothly, I voted pretty much a straight ticket (Pawlenty, Kennedy, Anderson, Johnson, Kiffmeyer, etc.) with the exception of the House where I could not bring myself to vote for Jim Ramstad nor would I consider voting for (former Air America host) Wendy Wilde so I did a write-in. Ramstad will undoubtedly get reelected with something like 60 plus percent of the vote but I held firm to my support for consumer-driven health care and twelve year term limits for members of Congress.

I actually did about 19 different write-ins as most of the judicial candidates were unopposed and I almost always vote against the incumbent as a protest against the screwy way that we elect judges in Minnesota. I also did one for County attorney as the race was between two Democrats and whoever wins will probably go on for higher office as my county is the largest in the State (it’s Amy Klobucher’s job which she did rather poorly IMO).

We had one item on the ballot for a proposed constitutional amendment which reads as follows:

"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to dedicate revenue from a tax on the sale of new and used motor vehicles over a five-year period, so that after June 30, 2011, all of the revenue is dedicated at least 40 percent for public transit assistance and not more than 60 percent for highway purposes?”

Read carefully and you’ll note that the only thing is proposes is that at least forty percent of the motor vehicle excise tax goes to mass transit (buses, LTR, etc.) and there is nothing which guarantees that a single cent will go for roads and bridges. This is a scam which is being sold to be the public as a “transportation amendment” because many of us are rightfully upset that the State has not kept up with our transportation needs by increasing road capacity for a growing metropolitan area. The Chamber of Commerce and both parties support this boondoggle which in reality is nothing more than a guarantee that 40 percent plus of the MVET which now goes into the general fund (it ought to be dedicated to roads and bridges like the gasoline excise tax which I would support) goes for a mass transit.

Now that I’ve done my civic duty, when I get home tonight I will be ordering Domino’s for dinner, breaking open a bottle of my favorite schnapps, and after Veronica Mars, I will be turning off every radio and television in the house and not even thinking about the results until tomorrow morning.

Signing off and best of luck to us all.

I would have a tough time voting for him too... he is far too wishy washy and unreliable for a district that red. I can't say I've ever been impressed with the guy.

I voted NO on the transportation amendment also. The way it is written, it is a trojan horse, just asking to be spent building more light rail lines at $60 million a mile... and as far as I can tell there is NO organized opposition to it at all... everybody supports it.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

My complaint(s) about Ramstad (who I think is a swell guy personally) are:

1) He’s already been in office for sixteen years and I’m a pretty staunch believer in term limits of twelve years because once you get past a certain point, you begin to think government is always the solution.

2) Whenever there have been attempts to make rather modest reductions in the rate of growth of federal spending, he’s usually been one of the Republicans who defects and votes against the reductions in the rate of growth.

3) His pet issue is to require insurance companies to pay for treatment for mental health and addition. My main issue domestically is health care reform (tied with entitlement reform) and the biggest reason for why health insurance costs so much in the United States is because instead of buying health insurance (which kicks in when you have a catastrophic illness or accident just like fire and auto insurance kick in when you have a fire or an accident) what we really have is pre-paid health care. The GAO estimates that all of the various mandates that States and the federal government impose on health insurance companies to prepay for health care services accounts for about 30 percent of our premium costs. Ramstad’s proposal would make this problem even worse and I consider it as bad as voting for a tax increase (worse actually because it’s hidden).

4) He was one of the members of Congress who demagogued the Dubai port deal before the facts were even out. It’s one thing to ask questions, it’s another to publicly prejudge such a sensitive issue because it’s politically expedient. Which brings me to my main complaint about Ramstad.

5) He’s a panderer. All politicians are to an extent and it is unreasonable to expect them not to take public opinion into account when they take a public stance on anything. Ramstad however strikes me as more prone to doing it than others. For the life of me with the exception of voting to impeach President Clinton and standing by the Iraqi phase of the war, I cannot honestly think of a time when the man has adopted an unpopular opinion and tried to change people’s minds about it.

That all being said, I have no doubt he will be reelected with something like 60 percent of the vote tonight and I won’t be upset about it at all. As I said think he’s generally a nice man and lest my criticisms of him on the issues be mistaken he is not a Rino. Even though I could not bring myself to vote for him, one of the reasons why he’s very popular is that he has also been a strong supporter of other GOP candidates and has done a lot to help them with their campaign. Truth be told, if not for (2) and (3) on my list, I might have been willing to overlook the rest and vote for him.

De Opresso Liber

I voted 30 minutes ago (2 miles) east of Frederick, MD. at the Springridge Community.

Absolutely no lines and only two placard-holders. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. The act of voting was the most time-consuming event.

At that place and at that time, it seemed to me that turn-out was very light.


I arrived at the precinct in Harrisonburg, VA at 8:30. As I walked to the entrance, three Republicans and two Democrats stood handing out sample ballots. George Allen's daughter, Tyler, gave me my sample ballot and a flyer. I walked in and handed my voter ID card to the poll worker. She crossed off my name and I stood in line for about 3 minutes. This must be a very small precinct, because there were only four voting booths set up. I walked to the open booth, circled the ovals with the felt-tip pen, and handed by ballot to the Diebold worker. We did the "secret handshake," gave a knowing wink, and out the door I went. Or maybe I just put my ballot into the scanning machine and left.

I always vote at 10 AM, and it never takes me more than 5 minutes. Even the contentious Bush - Kerry election didn’t cause a 10 AM backup at my polling place.

It took an hour today. The line snaked around the school gymnasium. High turnout is certainly a factor, but I think the bigger factor is the touch screen voting system. In the past we had a dozen or so old school fill-in-the-bubble ballot stations. Today we had 5 touch screen stations. They seem to be working fine, however the time people take to familiarize themselves with something new adds up when 150 people are in line.

knows how to do an election. I went to my precinct in Fairfaxy City, gave them my driver's liscense. They then asked me to repeat my address. I did, moved on, voted, and was done in 5 minutes. This was around 8:15 this morning

"As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this."
- George Mason

In and out no problem. We got new ballots this year, though, which instead of drawing a line between two rectangles to complete an arrow we now have to fill in a bubble-test style sheet with a ball point pen. It was rather annoying and time consuming, and it left me wondering if I had filled in dark enough or if any stray marks outside the bubble would be picked up, etc.

I suppose it will be several years or decades before we get voting technology in this state. At least we don't have chads to deal with.

Filling out the ballot was definitely the most time-extensive part of the morning. Voted for Cubin for House, Hunkins for Governor (was going to vote Freudenthal until he endorsed Trauner last week), and there was nothing else very exciting on the ballot to outsiders like y'all. :)

Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. -The Fray, "All At Once"

I went to the local elementary school at about 10AM. Had the devil's own time finding a parking place --- the students are always taking all the parking places :-) Went to the desk and presented my voter registration card and driver's license. They verified me and I signed the polling book. Poll worker set the machine and I voted --- straight R of course --- and I was gone in 10 minutes. Took longer to get to and from my car.

The only problem I saw was an 85 year old neighborhood lady understanding that she had to go through the review cycle to get the "Vote" button to come on. That took a minute or so for the poll worker to explain to her but other than that my experience was flawless. This has been my experience since I've been voting in Florida which has been for "quite a while now", with punch cards and the electronic systems. We've used them in 2002, 2004 and now 2006, including primaries and special elections a total of seven times now. My precinct usually has 5 or 6 machines and I have yet to see a case where one of them failed, didn't work, misreported the selection, etc.

Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is trying to destroy it.
... Jean-François Revel

I spent most of my adult life voting absentee due to military service outside of my home state (NY).
I've been amazed, during the past three years since my retirement, that absolutely no ID is required. The first time I voted locally, I volunteered my drivers license. I quickly realized I had committed a social faux pas by the confused look on poll workers.

Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum

In and out in 3 minutes. No crazy initiatives in CT. A handful of Dems. outside asking for a vote for Row B. Responded "no thanks, I'll piss off the terrorists and vote Republican." Even made the Dems. laugh. Only exception was Joe. I'd prefer to vote Rep. on the Senate race, but given that it's a lost cause I want to see Bug Eyes lose by a huge margin.

large turnout at 9 am already...probably will see at least 1500 votes at my voting place. heavy dem area too...most of the judges i had no idea who they were so i voted for whatever. i voted for betty montgomery and mike dewine (as well as probably a number of republican judges).

"Suppose you were a congressman, and suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

My husband and I got to the poll at 6:15am, and we were numbers 18 and 19, respectively, in the "N through Z" line. The turnout was considerably lighter than in 2004, when I arrived at the poll 15 minutes before it opened (5:45am) and didn't get to vote until after 7am.

Light turnout isn't a bad thing considering I live in a bright blue part of Northern Virginia. The Republicans don't even bother printing sample ballots for my area (or, if they do, I didn't receive one by mail and there was no one handing them out at the polling place).

No problems for me, at 8:30 AM, at the local library. But....

No ID required? What's that about? I have to provide one to rent a book from the same library....

Also, my Congresscritter was running unopposed by Republicans, which didn't make me happy.

Finally, there were three initiatives -- all having to do with taxes -- that I took the time to read and vote upon (without necessarily fully understanding what they meant, but I think they were going for higher taxes... and I'm a frikkin' lawyer). When I exited the booth, there was a line behind me of impatient looking people. :)

Sad to think that some constitutional amendments are about to pass in NJ because people can't be bothered to read what they say.


"What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you'd like it to mean?" - Justice Antonin Scalia

I voted in E.D. 25 at Westlane Middle School shortly after the 6 am starting time, and things moved briskly. Likewise for my son who voted around 2:30 pm.

None of the early birds seemed to be having problems with the voter ID requirement or filling out the ballot.

[By the way, why is it that the same Democrats who want universal government-run health care with an ID card for everybody have been frothing at the mouth about voter ID requirements?]

We had received a sample ballot from the Republicans, but the availability of the straight ticket option on the real ballot made the sample unnecessary.

This is the first place we've ever lived that closes the polls at 6 pm. This is very inconvenient for many working people.

Bob Miller
Indianapolis, IN

I voted early (7:45 AM) here in West Hartford, CT. About 15 people in line, which is more than there were in 2004, and they kept streaming in. The House race here (1st district) is a foregone conclusion for John Larson (D), but what does this heavy turnout mean for the Senate race?

Jim Geraghty at National Review had an interesting comment about the old-fashioned lever machines here in CT possibly affecting the ability of voters to find Joe Lieberman, and maybe encouraging straight-ticket voting.

I'm not sure about elsewhere, but in my precinct we voted standing up, with the machine mounted vertically. The levers for Republicans were on top, then Democrats, then Greens, then Libertarians, then two other minor parties, then the bottom row was "Connecticut for Lieberman". The bottom row was only about 3-1/2 feet off the ground (hard to find for a 6' voter like me). Could this difficulty discourage Independent and Republican voters who might prefer Lieberman over Lamont, but don't want to be bothered looking down that far?

If the machines are the same over in the 5th District (Nancy Johnson-R), voters who like Jodi Rell (R) might be encouraged to vote straight-ticket as well.

Food for thought...

The bad news: Conservatism is hard to sell. The good news is that it works.

556th at noon. 45 minutes. Devos, Bouchard, Wallberg. I feel a bit naughty. The maize and blue in me made me vote for the democrat candidates for Michigan State's board of trustees. Evil I know, but I couldn't stop myself. It's not like they can make it any MORE PC.

It my be of interest to Redstate that Schwarz registered with the Sec of State as a write-in. It was in the news here. I live in Schwarz territory and there is some bad blood from the primary. National ramifications are awful important for a protest vote in my mind.

Now I got to get home and shove my indifferent missus toward the polls. Had to offer to watch the kids and throw in a grande ice chai to get her to go. Needless to say she hates politics

Got lucky and found a parking spot. Polling place had changed so we were at a condo complex this year. I had been sent two other locations of where to go. That was as much of a screw up as I had to deal with.

2 3/4 year old (corralled in the lobby out of the voting booths) was heard by everyone as she asked such questions loudly
"where is the mermaid?" (looking at pool and pond)
"where is mommy?" (taking shifts voting)
"I want to go into the pool" (pool again)

Registered Voter in the same precinct for 9 years. On the books. No ID required. Sign the book. This year it was in pen. Up until this year it was sign in pencil (This has always annoyed my wife to no end).

Pen on paper ballot. Fill in the blanks. Any high school attendee could fill it out.

When finished...
1) Tear of bottom tabs and
2) Insert into tabulation machine. Digital readout shows that the ballots were accepted right in front of your face.
3) Chooose between English and Spanish "I Voted" sticker
4) Place sticker on clothing and walk out.

"Took the nickname Troll long before BlogTrolls existed..."

No problems. Got there around 8:00am, no lines. For verification, all they wanted was a signature match, but I showed them my voter card anyway. There were four booths for using the paper ballot and a pen, and one touch-screen machine. I was not asked if I wanted to use the machine or not (I would have rather done that, just to see if there were problems). Put the ballot in a cardboard cover and the election judge had me feed it into the tabulating machine. In a couple of seconds, the ballot was counted and I went on my merry way. 10 minutes.

"sarcasm on"
I didn't feel disenfranchised. Should I have?
"/sarcasm off"

A just war leads to a just peace and freedom. An unjust peace leads to death.

I voted straight ticket, Republican. Because Howard Dean is right about me.

I'm a white Christian heterosexual male, who's never done an honest day's work in his life, and who enjoys seeing poor children going to bed hungry.

/sarcasm off
A just war leads to a just peace and freedom. An unjust peace leads to death.

On my way to vote!

Note to little sissy democratic poll blockers; The Marine Corps taught me well so get out of my way... :-)

"The Road To Freedom Is Seldom Traveled By The Multitude" Madhouse Thought

shite about your hair!!!"

Not a single issue voting today. Not a one.

There wasn't even a line when I got there.
I walked up to the cheerful senior citizen behind the desk and said "I expected a line!" and she said "We've had one for most of the day!"

I showed my ID, signed the little book, got my paper ballot, got to my voting station, filled out my ballot, walked over to the machine, put it in there with the assistance of the machine guy who removed the perforated information strip from the top of the ballot and assured me that the ballot was now an anonymous piece of paper with black dots on it, and got my sticker.

When I got home, my beloved bride said "You voted already?"

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Live in democrat area of Tampa. No line and only one other person voting around 12:00. Hardly anyone had voted as of that time.

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