Tuesday, November 7, 2006

...and how did your voting experience go today?

Following up on yesterday's post, I just got back from voting and thought I'd share.

The touchscreen machine was sitting right there next to the check-in table. I asked if anyone had spilled coffee on it yet and one of the ladies said, resoundingly, "NO!". I told 'em I figured they'd have got that out of the way first thing and the other gals laughed.

We didn't have to show any ID. They had our names in a book, and we just signed our names as usual. It's still a friendly deal out here in Mayberryland.

The voting booths were set up directly in front of the poll workers, who were all women. They had a few words to say about getting to look at folk's derrieres showing below the privacy screen all day, and there was a comment about one guy in shorts who had hairy legs.

Our voting booths are cardboard with a trash-bag privacy screen. They've used these for the 26 years I've been here. They're not very spacious, and I don't much like standing to fill out a long ballot like ours, so I just sat at a table. We have modernized somewhat: a ball-point pen was used instead of a pencil.

This year I got to put my ballot directly into the optical scanner instead of a box. The thing looked for all the world like a shredder, but didn't sound like one. It yanked the ballot out of my hand so fast I was lucky to get let go of it!

Just for fun, I went and looked at the touchscreen machine. Yep, Diebold. The polling-place commander, Mavis, said nobody had used it yet. This was at 2pm and I was voter no. 205 for the day, which is more than usual. I've gone there at 6pm and been no. 85. She said she hoped nobody wanted to use it, as even though she had been snapped-in on it, she wasn't sure how to use it. She didn't even want the thing there. Her parting words to me were, "Don't you even tell nobody we got the damn thing!"

Yes, ma'am.

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