An Hour and Forty-Two Minutes Later...

I’ve cast my ballot.

Got to the polling place right at about 6:02 a.m., and finally hit the “Vote” button at 7:44. Granted, I haven’t voted in a presidential election at this particular polling place before, but according to other folks in line, it’s never been close to this packed.

Of course, part of that might be that we had new touch-screen voting machines — and (surprise, surprise) one of the four was out of order from the start. The machines had been used for local elections last year (and the primaries), but never for anything on the scale of a presidential election. And their record isn’t exactly spotless, as the linked article will readily demonstrate. I did see them try to get the inoperable machine up and running a bit later, but I pity the guinea pig who starts using that machine. “Well, it wasn’t working before, but we’re pretty sure it’s fine now. Trust us.”

Actually, despite the interminable amusement park-style snaking line, the atmosphere was fairly civilized. Hell, I was in line next to a guy wearing a Bush/Cheney hat and t-shirt (silly me — I had understood that campaign paraphernalia was prohibited inside the actual polling place, though I did sport my Bush/Orwell t-shirt under my jacket), and we managed to avoid coming to blows.

Still, I am seriously encouraged by the apparent turnout. We’ll see what happens tonight across the next several weeks.


At 6:44 AM, Lisa said...

I waited in line in Richmond just over an hour, in the late morning. Mine was also a new polling place. My neighbor told me because only about 500 of us had been voting at the firehouse, they shuffled us over to the community center, a mile or so further east.

We still use machines, with levers. As I was leaving, a man wearing a city name badge bustled in saying, We need to get another machine over here.


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