Open Thread: How You Voted

I have nothing to report – it’s all waiting, watching and wondering right now. But I am thinking about the poor folks who are using (by now) years old touchscreen machines that are probably breaking down everywhere. I wonder if that’s part of the reason there are so many lines in a few states.

I’ve never voted on a touchscreen machine, but I’ve voted a lot of different kinds of ballots. The worst ballot I used was a punch ticket (like Florida’s) in Chicago. The best was a paper, scanned, ballot in Wyoming where you used a giant felt tip marker to connect a large arrow pointing to the person for whom you were voting. New York’s paper, scanned ballot is almost as good — the limitation is that there are a lot more party lines so a ballot with the clarity of Wyoming’s would run on for pages. Here’s an open thread for voting mechanics or whatever else is going on in your world today.






207 replies
  1. 1
    PreservedKillick says:

    Fill out the paper ballot, then feed it into an actual honest to FSM ballot box, which is hand cranked to suck in the ballot and produce a satisfying “ding!”

    Fairly low tech. The most advanced device in the room is a #2 pencil.

  2. 2
    Culture of Truth says:

    I miss the machines with the big levers. A satisfying THUNK when you voted.

    As far as what I have to report, I still have no heat or power, but c’est la vie. I am warmed down to my cockles by my election prediction which has Obama with 303 EV votes.

  3. 3
    artem1s says:

    personally I do prefer the optical scan ballots over anything else I have used. the only improvement I can see would be to provide the voter with a copy or receipt of some kind.

  4. 4
    Scott S. says:

    Well, I early-voted on one of those machines with the weird wheel controller. Too bad they didn’t have a proper track-ball so I could pretend I was playing “Centipede.”

    When I voted, most of the other voters were non-whites. Made me feel good about the future, at least within Denton County, Texas…

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    Can I just say that I’d like to hunt down the man that came up with the idea of voting for precinct court judges and punch that man in the neck repeatedly? Because, seriously, fuck that guy. There must be two dozen judicial posts to vote on. I know absolutely nothing about any of them. It’s totally asinine.

    Our voting machines aren’t touch-screen per say. They’ve got this little wheel you spin to cycle through the voting options, with the selected option highlighted in red. Then they have a big red “CAST BALLOT” button you press when you are finished. It’s not a bad way to vote, all told. But just getting to the ballot measures is an absolutely slog, because they’re hidden behind our 40 million judicial races.

  6. 6
    joes527 says:

    I’m permanent absentee. My job involves a lot of last minute travel. In 2006 a trip came up the week of the election, and it was too late to request an absentee ballot. I’ve been permanent absentee since.

    The ballot is sitting right here on the desk. I’ve filled it out at my leisure and will be dropping it off at the polling place tomorrow.

    Pretty painless.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    We’ve got machines that look like they should be touch screens, but actually use a scroll wheel. I can’t stand them, as they’re not easy to use and are not consistent with how people generally interact with technology–keyboards, touch screens, arrow keys, mouse, etc. I can only imagine how challenging them might be for older folks.

    Also, we don’t get any kind of print out or receipt or anything. I have no idea how they do a recount if necessary. There may be redundancy built in, but it’s invisible to the voter.

  8. 8
    The Red Pen says:

    I won’t know what my voting will look like until tomorrow.

    I do know that I will be voting for Fox News to talk about Benghazi for the next four years.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    The optical connect the two parts of the arrow ballot is what Chicago is using now, though if you vote early it’s on electronic touchscreen machines.

  10. 10
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Culture of Truth: Are you in NYC, were you badly hit by Sandy? Stay warm, its getting cold out there.

  11. 11
    Culture of Truth says:

    I now have touchscreen so I vote with my feet.

    It may not be hygenic, but it’s fun to say I did.

  12. 12
    smith says:

    @Scott S.:

    Whenever I see or hear the word “centipede” I am reminded of the gross-out movie “The Human Centipede”. Worst movie ever.

    Back on topic, we used to have the tiny levers which would record the vote as soon as you pulled the big lever on the bottom. Now we have fill-out ballots (where you use pencil to fill in your choices) and it gets scanned through the machine. I feel like I’m taking an exam filling out those little circles.

  13. 13
    blingee says:

    Oh noezzzz…mistermix is ‘wondering’ again. Like he ‘wondered’ day after day month after month…obsessively ‘wondering’ if Palin was going to run in 2012.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    In Vermont we use paper ballots and optical scanners. Up until 2008 we used paper ballots that were hand counted by the town justices of the peace, a group made up of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

    I grew up with those clunky, NYC voting booths with the levers that made a loud, satisfying metallic sound when you locked in your vote. Those machines made voting seem like a very important, serious procedure though they were very prone to malfunction.

  15. 15
    Riley's Enabler says:

    Saw the “We are facing another Recession” Romney ad twice this morning – in Houston, of all places.

    Enraged me.

    Early voting here was by the wheel controller as well. I kept my receipt, just to prove (to myself) that there was one D vote in my deeply R area.

  16. 16
    Mark B. says:

    Redistricting put me in Lamar Smith’s congressional district, so I can no longer vote proudly for Lloyd Doggett. But I voted for Smith’s opponent, and for the president’s re-election campaign. Since I’m in Texas, which is populated with idiots, my vote doesn’t count in the electoral college, but I have faith in the long term that Texas will become a swing state, and eventually a democratic stronghold. Might take 20 years or longer, but I’ve got time.

  17. 17
    Schlemizel says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    ME too! Think its a sign of old age!

    We use the fill in the oval paper ballots & I am fairly happy with them

    If I had my way voting would be by electronic tablet (easier to read impossible to “color outside the lines”) that would then print a paper copy of your choices. You would put that copy in a ballot box. Every election some random sample would be pulled to verify the e-vote. In the event of dependencies the paper would be used.

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    Heard something on This-Is-A-Center-Right-Country-NPR last week about voting methodology and problems with it. A caller claimed to be an expert in information technology, had worked in the field for 20 years, etc. and said he thought all voting should be with paper ballot. Said any technology is too easy to hack.

  19. 19
    The Moar You Know says:

    We’ve been using the optical scan ballots for a long time now in San Diego. Perfect solution: computer compilation for fast results, total paper trail if needed for audit or recounts.

    What I do not and will never understand is why federal elections aren’t administered by the federal government.

  20. 20
    Carnacki says:

    If you people let me be king (and you should) we would not have these voting issues

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    The best was a paper, scanned, ballot in Wyoming where you used a giant felt tip marker to connect a large arrow pointing to the person for whom you were voting

    That’s the type of ballot that we use in Ramsey County, MN. I’ve never voted with any other type of ballot. MN has had it’s voting process together for a long time, so I’m hoping that the awful Voter ID ammendment that the republicans stuck on this years ballot fails. We’ll go from one of the best election states to one of the worst overnight if it passes.

  22. 22
    John Weiss says:

    Here, in Oregon, we have the most rational method of voting I’ve ever encountered. It’s mark the ballot and either mail the booger or drop it into the ballot box in front of city hall. It couldn’t be easier.

  23. 23
    Joel says:

    Washington’s mail ballots are the best I’ve ever used.

  24. 24
    KG says:

    In California is varies by county. When I started voting in Orange County in the mid-90s they had a punch ticket that wasn’t bad. Then sometime in the last decade they went to a machine, but not touchscreen, it had a wheel and a button to press, like a first generation iPod, really. I’m now ready to cast a ballot in LA county for the first time and I think it’s a scan ballot, fill in the bubble thing…

  25. 25
    Mark B. says:

    @Violet: I believe those are the Hart Intercivic machines. Horrible hardware, and software that’s just as bad. I know some people who work for that company and I just want to ask her how the hell could they come up with something that is so poorly designed and successfully sell it to government. Oh well, this IS Texas, after all.

  26. 26
    LTL-FTC says:

    I don’t actually understand the causes for long lines and wonder if someone could please to offer some theories. I assume it is just a basic traffic issue, i.e. not enough polling places. But is there more to it than that? I have voted in every election my entire life and in four separate states, three blue and Colorado, and have never once waited in a line. At the most I have waited a couple of seconds to get into one of the booths but I cannot fathom an hours-long line. Ideas about (I assume multiple) causes?

  27. 27
    Comrade Mary says:

    Well, Florida has found the perfect way to slow things down with its ballots: put a shitload of amendments to the state constitution up for voting, which creates four pages of dense legal language that would take the average voter 30 minutes to read, understand, and complete, and then make sure to advertise widely that these amendments are VERY IMPORTANT and people need to READ AND FILL OUT THEIR BALLOTS COMPLETELY.

    Shortened, understaffed early voting setup is just gravy.

    Fuckers.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @beltane:

    I grew up with those clunky, NYC voting booths with the levers that made a loud, satisfying metallic sound when you locked in your vote. Those machines made voting seem like a very important, serious procedure though they were very prone to malfunction.

    I loved those. My mom took me to vote with her and we’d get to pull the curtain and be inside this big voting machine. Felt like the concept of secret ballot meant something. Now, with the voting machines, we’ve just got little plastic sides that come up to semi-protect you from being overlooked. When people walk by, though, they can definitely see who you’re voting for. I know I’ve seen other people’s screens as I’ve walked to a voting machine.

    I miss the old voting machines. I loved how serious and important they made voting seem.

  29. 29
    beth says:

    O/T but I’m watching Bruce Springsteen at an Obama rally in Wisconsin. Why must he be so serious and depressing? I know he knows how to pump up a crowd so why is he putting them to sleep??

  30. 30
    blingee says:

    @Scott S.: The real tragedy with Texas is not the dumbfuck rednecks. It’s the fact the majority are latino and yet due to their voter apathy Texas is still a red state. Texas latinos won’t ever get any sympathy from me. If you don’t vote you get the government you deserve.

  31. 31
    piratedan says:

    by mail, it was easy, ballot sent over two weeks ago, which is nice because I am outta town on business.

  32. 32
    jayackroyd says:

    Optical scan paper ballots here in the urban hellhole.

    I do not understand the use of electronic voting–leave aside bad implementations like no printed confirmation. The only benefit is speeding up the count, for a result that won’t be effective for weeks. THere’s no real benefit for having any potential reduction in accuracy of the count for the sake of speed.

  33. 33
    KG says:

    @Violet: Paper is a technology too and can be tampered with. Ballot boxes could belot, stuffed, or if ballots come up with no votes for certain elections an industrious volunteer could fill in the blank elections. @Carnacki: Is right, an absolute monarchy is the best way to deal with this… Though I think I should be king, I’ll be a very Platonic philosopher-king, and will appoint all of you ministers of various functions

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    @gbear:

    Hennepin County used to have those, switched to the ovals about 10 years ago I think. AS bad as it is that there is no national standard for ballots it is stunning that there is not even a single standard within a state.

    I am very worried about that stupid voter ID measure. The real hope is that not voting on it is the same as voting NO. I hope a lot of people miss it or skip it. Same for the Bigot amendment, though that may go down even by simple majority. I was up in the Arrow Head region over the weekend, saw a lot of orange NO signs, more than I expected anyway

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    I can’t believe the fucking bullshit long lines in FL that kept folks from voting isn’t a bigger story.

    And how is it going to be tomorrow? HUGE lines and people who have to work or have kids just saying fuck it.

    We have less democracy now. All I can say is that I hope this raises the consciousness of more Americans to see the consequences of voting for the GOP.

  36. 36
    Woodrowfan says:

    we have both touch screen and scantron. I will be using the scantron. I liked the big old lever-pulling machines. The CLUNK was great. I felt like it was the sound of me drooping a big rock on some repug’s toes!

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @LTL-FTC: I’ve voted early quite a few times, but always have ended up waiting–shortest was about 20 minutes, longest was over an hour with lines out the door.

    These days I tend to vote on election day. Longest I’ve waited was two years ago and that was about ten minutes. Usually I walk right in.

    I don’t think there are enough early voting locations to handle the numbers of people who want to vote early. There are far fewer of them than actually polling places on election day.

  38. 38
    sherparick says:

    This is interesting today. Again, a reminder of Charles Pierce’s point about Mittens. For the Mittster there are two kinds of people. There is himself and his family and their is the Help. And when you attend one of his rallies, you are definitely “Help.” http://americablog.com/2012/11.....rally.html

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’ve voted four, well, five, different ways:

    Punch cards. Stick the punch card in a slot, then you go through the “butterly” to cast your ballot.

    The low-tech absentee version of this, where you have to pick out the proper holes to punch to make your choices.

    An honest to gosh pull the levers voting machine, in WA state one of the two elections I participated in there, before they phases them out for paper “fill in the blanks” ballots. That change, btw, was decried by local Luddites who insisted that paper scan ballots were more subject to fraud than pull the levers voting machines.

    Which is more or less the same system Oregon uses now. So that’s sort of five, but not exactly.

    The touch-screen thing is frightening. There’s no way to confirm your vote…some of them don’t even print a receipt like form documenting your vote. If Diebold can make an ATM, which you KNOW has to have an audit trail that can be reviewed by the customer (the bank), the bullshit about “proprietary information” on voting machines means that officials can’t examine, in detail, the inner mechanisms is pure bullshit.

  40. 40
    evap says:

    I’m in Georgia, I voted early last Saturday on the touch-screen machines with no paper receipt or anything. I hate them and don’t trust them. We used to vote with punchcards, which felt much more secure since there’s a physical record of your vote. That was before I learned about hanging chads…

    In 2008, I voted absentee ballot so I could take a picture of my ballot before handing it in. :)

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @BGinCHI: The GOP wants us to be a banana republic, an oligarchy with a 1% elite and the media are their willing enablers.

  42. 42
    quannlace says:

    I was ordering a mail-in ballot for my 90 year old mother, and decided to get one for myself (in NJ you don’t need an excuse) since…you never know. Was thinking of my ancient car, but then came Hurricane Sandy.

  43. 43
    EconWatcher says:

    George Allen had a couple of attractive women shilling for him at my metro stop this morning. I thought about saying something rude, but thought better of it and just wished them a good morning.

    If Allen wins, I may seriously have to think about moving to Maryland.

  44. 44
    Mark B. says:

    @KG: The big difference is that paper ballots require more labor to manually modify ballots one-by-one, where software ballots can be done en-masse with a simple database query. Ballot stuffing involving physical ballots leaves more evidence behind, where the forensics for digital tampering are more difficult.

    It’s not that I’m opposed to digital voting, but I think the present systems are deficient in security.

  45. 45
    Edward_75 says:

    Anybody seen the new University of Cincinnati SHOCK POLL? Obambi down to one point.

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll has Pennsylvania ALL TIED

    Florida Times-Union poll has ROMNEY UP BY AN INSURMOUNTABLE FIVE POINT LEAD.

    Smells like…VICTORY!

  46. 46
    Bob R says:

    L.A. County uses the “Ink-a-Vote” system, replacing the old punch cards that caused so much trouble in Florida.

    Now, you use a pen to push down through the hole over the ballot – and then the paper ballot is scanned.

    The variations in voting methods, times, and access is a national scandal. But right now, it works for the Republicans, so the chances of fixing it are vanishingly small.

  47. 47
    beltane says:

    @Violet: My mother wouldn’t even let me in the booth with her. She’d have me sit with the nice poll-worker ladies while she vanished into the booth. There was something almost sacred about the whole process, like the voting booth was equal to the confessional booth. Now the only privacy we have is a three-sided cardboard box, and the filling in the circle thing is more reminiscent of the SAT’s than the Sacred Duty to the Republic vibe of the old machines.

  48. 48
    giltay says:

    Last time I voted, the ballot looked like this. I put a big X in one of the circles and dropped it in a box. Later, a human being tallied it and the result was known by morning.

    I am always utterly, utterly baffled that this is somehow a problem in the US.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Carnacki:

    Well, if you make me king, my first official act will be to crucify assholes like Governor Lex Luthor.

  50. 50
    MaxxLange says:

    In NC we get a receipt with our optical scan ballot. I like the system a lot, especially the retention of the paper ballot for auditing.

  51. 51
    quannlace says:

    When I voted in person in 2008, my polling place still had those old machines with the little toggles under each name. Then when you were done, to register your vote, you had to pull back a huge metal handle. Bit of a work-out.

  52. 52
    SatanicPanic says:

    Going to cast a paper ballot on election day. Just like going to the polling place, being part of the democratic process with my fellow Americans.

  53. 53
    blingee says:

    @Edward_75: Needs moar ALL CAPS BOLD

  54. 54
    JimF says:

    I still miss New York’s lever machines. There was something satisfying about the final thump when you completed everything.

  55. 55
    Lee says:

    Touch screen in Texas (Collin County).

    Nothing but rich white folk at the voting place.

    There were too many uncontested races on the ballot.

    Sam Johnson ran uncontested :(

  56. 56
    The Dangerman says:

    Anyone know any good websites to watch the numbers and States come in? I’m on the road and this is a good thing; I’m 6-7 with long arms and I’ve had it up to here (reaching/stretching as high as possible) with the Pundit Class. All of them, even our side.

    I can watch tears falling on FOX on Youtube later.

  57. 57
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Zifnab:

    One of the joys of voting in TX.

  58. 58
    Kane says:

    In Honolulu, we were given the choice of electronic voting machine or paper ballot. I went old school.

  59. 59
    gbear says:

    @Schlemizel: Actually, Ramsey County has the ovals now too. Do you know of any MN counties using other systems? Maybe we are all the same in MN.

    I also remember that the first couple times I voted, we had the clunky old mechanical machines mentioned in a few comments above. They were pretty cool. You’d pull a lever to close the curtain, make your picks by pushing down a small lever on the candidate board, and when you pulled the lever again to open the curtain, your vote would be entered into the machine.

  60. 60
    dedc79 says:

    Election day always leaves me thinking about ATMs. I don’t know about the rest of you, but i’ve never had a problem withdrawing money from an atm. It always gets the amount right and if you want one you get a receipt. It’s quick and easy to use/explain.

    Why is it so freaking difficult to build a voting machine that works as well and which gives you a receipt so you can confirm that your vote was correctly counted?

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Edward_75:

    Taco here isn’t talking about the “Cadillac of Polls”, you’ll notice, as Gallup is busy getting its numbers in line with the most likely outcome…a crushing Obama win. Same thing for the pathetic slime that is Rasmussen.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    I just got robo-called to vote for Republican judges. Because they “support small businesses” or some crap.

    Ha. Go ahead and waste your phone calls, stupid Republicans. I’m voting straight ticket Democrat. Did it in the last election, will continue to do it forever unless the Republican party morphs into something completely unrecognizable from what it is today. And I mean in a positive way. If somehow they become the party of women’s rights, diversity, helping the middle class, dealing with climate change, etc., then I might consider it. I don’t see that happening, so as far as I’m concerned I’ll never even consider voting for a Republican again. Never.

  63. 63
    Hill Dweller says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I can’t believe the fucking bullshit long lines in FL that kept folks from voting isn’t a bigger story.

    The Republicans’ blatant voter suppression during the last two years should have been much bigger news, but the media’s “balance” doesn’t allow for consistent criticism of wingnuts.

  64. 64
    Edward_75 says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    WAAAAH! WAAAH! WAAAH!

    Keep crying about the coming loss, bitch.

  65. 65
    hueyplong says:

    In NC, I voted a paper ballot on which you fill in the appropriate ovals with a pen.

    I declined the straight ticket option so that I could have the fun of voting against each GOP candidate individually, with the most emphatic effort being against Virginia Foxx, recently gerrymandered into my home area (my previous congressman was Mel Watt).

    Maybe it’s where I live (too small a town), the people I run into and the nature of the ads on TV, but here it’s really difficult to imagine that NC is considered a swing state. It feels, looks and smells pretty deeply red.

  66. 66
    Central Planning says:

    I live in a suburb of Rochester. I asked one year what it takes to be an election worker. The old people there told me I had to be a registered in one of the major parties.

    Any idea if that’s true, and why that would be? I almost want to sign up and see what happens.

  67. 67
    JCT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, if you make me king, my first official act will be to crucify assholes like Governor Lex Luthor.

    . I think there will be a long LINE for that pleasure.

  68. 68
    joes527 says:

    @LTL-FTC:

    At the most I have waited a couple of seconds to get into one of the booths

    California voter here … and I have to say, my experience has been the same.

    No early voting in this state, but the # of people in front of me in line on voting day can invariably be counted w/o removing my shoes.

    Is there one polling place for all of Florida or something?

  69. 69
    SatanicPanic says:

    @dedc79: I’m sure it wouldn’t be so difficult. But not everyone wants it to be easy to vote.

  70. 70
    Edward_75 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Gallup suspended its polling for Hurricane Sandy but will have numbers out later today.

  71. 71
    Robert says:

    We’ve had very easy to use machines here for quite some time. It’s basically a series of buttons under plastic casing hooked up to LEDs. When you press the option you want, it lights up. You have to confirm your vote at the end. The only downside is having to clear out the entire ballot if you make a mistake. Fortunately, Jersey doesn’t usually get stuck with a lot of ballot initiatives.

    Even more fortunately, my polling place didn’t lose power. Neither did my grandmother’s or my parents’. With all the drama over faxing/e-mailing and provisional in person ballots at your actual polling site, I’ll gladly be voting down the ticket democrat this time around. I can usually afford to vote for the candidate I prefer–we have a lot of local independents that I know from working in the school system–but D all the way is the only option this year.

  72. 72
    JCT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, if you make me king, my first official act will be to crucify assholes like Governor Lex Luthor.

    . I think there will be a long LINE for that pleasure.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    @dedc79:

    Election day always leaves me thinking about ATMs. I don’t know about the rest of you, but i’ve never had a problem withdrawing money from an atm. It always gets the amount right and if you want one you get a receipt. It’s quick and easy to use/explain.

    I got too much money from the ATM one time! A bill was folded in half and somehow messed up the counter, so I got an extra $20. Because I’m honest I went inside the branch and gave it back to them, but not before I had them check to see how much had actually been debited from my account.

    The branch manager tried to give me something–a mug, a clock, something–as a thank you gift for being honest, but I refused. It would just have ended up being given to Goodwill.

  74. 74
    Culture of Truth says:

    Trenton, N.J. (AP) – Some New Jersey election watchdog
    groups are worried about the security of letting displaced New Jersey residents vote by email.

    Rutgers-Newark Law School Professor Penny Venetis says that
    when New Jersey residents living overseas vote by email, they also must send a paper ballot so that vote-counters can verify the results.

    She says that she wants New Jersey election officials to
    put in place the same rules for people displaced by last week’s storm to vote online.

  75. 75
    JCT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, if you make me king, my first official act will be to crucify assholes like Governor Lex Luthor.

    . I think there will be a long LINE for that pleasure.

  76. 76
    JCT says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, if you make me king, my first official act will be to crucify assholes like Governor Lex Luthor.

    . I think there will be a long LINE for that pleasure.

  77. 77
    Mattski says:

    my dream method would be to punch the candidate in the face who i am not voting for.

    too harsh?

    fine , kick in the shin then.

  78. 78
    Violet says:

    @dedc79:

    Election day always leaves me thinking about ATMs. I don’t know about the rest of you, but i’ve never had a problem withdrawing money from an atm. It always gets the amount right and if you want one you get a receipt. It’s quick and easy to use/explain.

    I got too much money from the ATM one time! A bill was folded in half and somehow messed up the counter, so I got an extra $20. Because I’m honest I went inside the branch and gave it back to them, but not before I had them check to see how much had actually been debited from my account.

    The branch manager tried to give me something–a mug, a clock, something–as a thank you gift for being honest, but I refused. It would just have ended up being given to Goodwill.

  79. 79
    Edward_75 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I can’t. Gallup suspended its national tracking due to Superstorm Sandy, moron.

  80. 80
    wonkie says:

    I voted by mail. LOur ballot is thesize of a newspaper with all kids of offices no one knows anything about like Port Commissioner and Insurance Commissioner. Sadly those are the kind of slots wingnut saboteurs run for kowing that there will no race, not discussion, little information. I used a voter’s guide put out by the local Democrats to help me on those positions. There was a whole slew of intiatives, too, including legalization of marijuana.

    No voter intimidation or supporeesion. Good luck to the rest of you all.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Note also that Taco is citing obscure local polls in a desperate attempt to convince himself (no one else here is nearly as stupid or mercenary as he) that Rmoney isn’t going to be crushed when the actual ballots are counted and reported.

  82. 82
    rlrr says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Also, our resident troll gets more active when Obama’s numbers are improving…

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Also, too, “national tracking polls” mean absolutely nothing. If the popular vote were important, Al Gore would have taken the oath of office in January 2001.

  84. 84
    BenA says:

    In CT and the first couple of times I voted in PA it was the big old lever machine. Which I liked for some reason, but really was just as big of a black box as the new electronic voting. The last 6 or so times I’ve voted counting primaries and generals are all on Diebold touch screen with craptuclar brown and red UI design. It’s pretty clear that the UI was designed by some 50+ year old middle manager with no real experience… all giant buttons and tiny text. No paper trail to speak of which is just stupid.

    I actually feel fairly okay about the Diebold votes I’ve casted here in PA though I check my local precincts totals after elections and they seem to make sense. I used to be way more paranoid about it… but still there’s absolutely no reason why there couldn’t be a paper audit trail.

  85. 85

    Looks like the “ballot integrity” crowd is targeting those shiftless you know whats to make sure they don’t cheat. Because the only folks prone to cheating would vote for the Kenyan Usurper:

    According to the letter, the rights organizations obtained a partial list of targeted precincts distributed at a Pittsburgh Tea Party poll watcher training coordinated with the Republican Party. The precincts have a black voter registration of over 79-percent.

    Ballot integrity, indeed. Wow, the Tea Party is filled with race baiting, scumbags. Hoocoodanode.

  86. 86
    LTL-FTC says:

    @joes527: I am also now a CA voter. The layout of the ballots is exactly what one would expect and utterly without ambiguity. The language of the propositions, on the other hand…

    Like, for instance, I had no idea 38 would cancel out 30. Frustrating.

  87. 87
    Edward_75 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    University of Cincinnati is “obscure”? The leading newspaper in Pittsburgh is “obscure”? The newspaper of Jacksonville, Florida is “obscure”?

    You might also want to read some Neil Newhouse and start worrying.

    Obambi is finished. Less than 24 hours away now of being crushed. The Democrats are going down, down, dooooooooown.

  88. 88
    GregB says:

    NH has paper ballots with optical scanners.

    Never had a problem.

    But we do have a new GOP installed voter ID law thanks to House override of the Dem Governor’s veto.

    Eff GOP Speaker Bill O’Brien, may he get his clock cleaned tomorrow.

  89. 89
    Mike E says:

    We went from completing the arrow to filling in ovals, which sucks. Or mebbe I’m just getting old. I’d rather kill moar trees and use paper ballots, than mash on some screen and hope Tagg didn’t steal my vote.

  90. 90
    SenyorDave says:

    Voted touchscreen in Maryland. Early voting, was extended two days because of Sandy. I waited an hour and a half on Friday night (got there 8:45 PM, left 10:15 PM). That was longer than I have waited combined in every other election, and I’m 54 and I’ve never missed one. I think there was a mindset that people decided they just wanted to vote, and were willing to put up with the wait.

  91. 91
    Edward_75 says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    WAAAH! Keep whining, but we’re going to win.

  92. 92
    Bill Arnold says:

    @dedc79:

    Why is it so freaking difficult to build a voting machine that works as well and which gives you a receipt so you can confirm that your vote was correctly counted?

    A receipt with your votes on it? So you (OK, other people) can sell your vote to the highest bidder?
    There is actually a lot of ATM fraud, with skimmers etc. The banks eat it mostly.

  93. 93
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    IIRC Oregon had a ballot design contest wherein a 6th grade class won. Fill-in-the-ovals and optically scan (machines we already had in abundance) ballots a 6th grader can understand. Saves umteen-million dollars each election.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opin.....roves.html

  94. 94

    Filled out my ballot already (I’m signed to vote by mail), but I’ll be dropping it off at my polling place tomorrow.

    Then I’ll be turning the TV off, opening a bottle of wine, and catching up on Sherlock Series 2 on Netflix.

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:

    Well, there’s the problem. The average white racist southern voter didn’t get past third grade.

  96. 96
    Edward_75 says:

    Early voter in Ohio and Florida for Dems DOWN FROM 2008.

    Young and minority voters just aren’t turning out and Romney is closing the gender gap where it matters.

  97. 97
    joes527 says:

    @LTL-FTC: When I was young and naive, I thought that the right thing to do was to read the propositions myself, and make my own decision. It didn’t take me long to realize that the likelihood that I was correctly understanding the impact of the words was vanishingly small.

  98. 98
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Joel: Thanks to Washington’s system, I haven’t stepped foot in a polling place in 20 years. I voted absentee in ’96 and ’00, and mail-in since then.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Edward_75:

    Keep fucking that chicken, looser.

  100. 100
    quannlace says:

    Then I’ll be turning the TV off, opening a bottle of wine, and catching up on Sherlock Series 2 on Netflix.

    Already turning off the cable news stations today. Just how many times can you listen to ‘Horse race…horse race,,,,horse race…too close to call….all tied up.”

    Oh, and an increasing desire to punch Jon Husted in the face

  101. 101
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Here in my county, I am proud to say, we actually are ahead of a lot of places in this country.

    Early voting began October 9th, and included Saturdays and multiple easy-to-access locations.

    We no longer have precincts. Anyone can go to anyone of our designated “Voter Convenience Centers”, give your name and address and receive the computer generated paper ballot specific to your districts.

    We then bubble in our vote on the paper ballot and insert it into an vote reader where it scans and tallies the votes. That might be an area that is potentially subject to problems, but so far we have not had issues with electronic miscounts to my knowledge.

  102. 102
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    @Edward_75:
    Taco here isn’t talking about the “Cadillac of Polls”, you’ll notice, as Gallup is busy getting its numbers in line with the most likely outcome…a crushing Obama win. Same thing for the pathetic slime that is Rasmussen.

    Yup. Rasmussen’s national numbers are showing convergence from a 7% lead for Romney 2 weeks ago to a 1% lead today. Ras always does this – big GOP lean early in the races, and then converges to roughly where the consensus is just before the race. Gives the GOP diehards what they want early on, but tweaks his likely voter model just in time to salvage his credibility.

    So, Edward_75/PO/Taco, how do you feel about Ras showing a ~6% gain for Obama over the past few weeks?

  103. 103
    maus says:

    Mail-in paper ballots, the best, most secure and somewhat cheapest way to go. I wish all states could do it like WA in that regard.

  104. 104
    ruemara says:

    I’m arguing with liberals on my fb page who insist that we don’t have the right to vote because it isn’t clearly stated by the constitution. Which seems to make voter suppression ok, sad, but ok. I’m arguing that an implicit right based on constitutional protections is more sensible to listen to than a dozen slate articles navel gazing and nitpicking semantics. When did we lose our ability to reason things out? Why would you set protections in stone if you don’t think people generically have a right to vote? Tossing that one out there for the people (ill-defined according to the scholars) to discuss.

  105. 105
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Pencils are modern, and paper is new-fangled. i don’t trust either one. I want to vote with these.

  106. 106
    The Moar You Know says:

    A caller claimed to be an expert in information technology, had worked in the field for 20 years, etc. and said he thought all voting should be with paper ballot. Said any technology is too easy to hack.

    @Violet: I’m not going to claim to be an expert, even though I do IT security for a living.

    The easiest thing in the world to hack is a paper ballot. Read Caro’s history of LBJ for some eye-opening descriptions of how votes were manipulated back in the old days.

    The voting machines are hackable too, of course. Just how hackable is a matter of who made them and how much attention they paid to security. In some cases anyone can. In some cases very few can.

    Good laws, heavy auditing, exit polls and election observers have and will do more to insure the integrity of the vote than any single security measure – what us IT security folks call “defense in depth”.

  107. 107
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Cokie Roberts actually said this on This Week this week:

    “But you really felt this week like the air went out of the Romney balloon. From the from the first debate on, it was just blowing up and up and up. And even though the numbers weren’t changing that much, there was a real sense of movement in that campaign. And it just seems to have completely dissipated.”

    Translation: There was no “up and up” or “sense of movement” for Romney in the actual population these last few weeks, but there was among us pundits, and since we were distracted by something else for a week, that’s all gone! Isn’t that amazing?

    I know it always operates on this principal but it’s fairly rare for one of them to admit that it wasn’t based on anything but their own imagination.

  108. 108
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Edward_75: “closing the gender gap where it matters”–aka the White Wimmen, amirite?

  109. 109
    merrinc says:

    @hueyplong:

    Interesting! I also vote in NC and we do it via touch screen with a paper receipt that prints under plexiglass on the left side of the machine.

    So sorry to hear about being in Crazy Foxx’s district. She is such a huge embarrassment. I donated $200 to Billy Kennedy in 2010 and really hoped that he would unseat her. I was also in Mel Watt’s district and thanks to Thom Tillis and his merry band of fucktards, am now in Sue Myrick’s district. I am hoping that Jennifer Roberts wins over the odious and extremely wealthy Robert Pittenger but who knows.

    And yeah, I agree with you that the state seems pretty red this time around. I blame Amendment One for energizing the wingnuts and making them realize their power. And the bazillion dollars the Super Pacs have spent on lying ads and mailers.

  110. 110
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ruemara: If so, then the 15th amendment…

    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
    __
    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

    is meaningless.

  111. 111
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Lever machines in Baltimore City. Optical scan paper ballots in Baltimore County. Unverified, no-paper-trail touch screens in South PA.

    The second method is perfect. Instant digital tabulation, paper trail marked by voters and revisable if they make a mistake. Recountable, if need be.

  112. 112
    Don K says:

    @Zifnab:

    I hear you on the judges. Here in MI, the Supreme Court justices are easy because, although they’re nominally non-partisan, they’re nominated by the state party conventions and about 90% of their advertising shows it’s paid for by the respective state party committees. Well, that, and the Republicans always say they’re saving us from “special interests”, which means they side with business around 85% of the time.

    For county and local judges, you have to scan the direct mail ads to find the incriminating phrases (“no legislating from the bench”, and “100% pro-life”, for instance. Really? WTF does being pro-life have to do with being a judge on the Oakland County Circuit Court, except as a signifier to wingers?).

    As far as process, optical scan is the standard for MI. I like the fact that there’s a physical ballot and thus a paper trail. Also, the ballot stations are super cheap, so they can have plenty of them at the polling place.

    My first votes, in NJ, MN, and MI, were on the old electromechanical machines with the levers. Those were fun, but with the number of positions and questions to be voted on in MI the ballot could go damned near to the floor. Plus, the machines were expensive, so even fairly prosperous towns couldn’t afford to have more than a couple at each polling place.

  113. 113
    Schlemizel says:

    @Central Planning:

    Generally it is true. They like to have an even number of R & D people to keep each other honest

  114. 114

    I voted for Stein and then had all of the GOP poll workers high five me. I told them that a Romney victory would make it easier for the GOP to be “attacked from the left”. They laughed so hard they fell over and one of them broke their hip.

    Just kidding, I voted by mail for the Kenyusurper. Vote by mail is my permanent status.

  115. 115
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    The problems caused by the Republican poll worker up in Portland, the one who was helpfully filling in the ROMNEY oval in ballots that had that space left blank, showed a flaw in the system. And it’s a problem which will be analyzed and fixed so it doesn’t happen again. No system is perfect but we’re working on it.

  116. 116
    Joshua says:

    In my district in FL, we had paper ballots where we filled in an arrow with a marker. It was similar to what I recall from voting in MA in 2008. The marked ballots then go into a scanner that gives a satisfying beep if it detects no ambiguous marks.

  117. 117
    ruemara says:

    @Davis X. Machina: *BUZZ* Wrong. They insist that that has nothing to do with establishing the right to vote. It just defines the right to not be denied to vote, but it does not clearly state the right to vote. Implied rights vs Defined rights. I am not a Slate writer, so I am arrogant for not agreeing with this.

    I expect to be considered a bitch and defriended. Again.

  118. 118
    jwb says:

    Sometime in the 2000s our voting changed from scantron to fully electronic with no paper trail. I’m still not sure why anyone thought that was a good idea.

  119. 119
    Schlemizel says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    The printed piece does not leave the polling place – it is put in a ballot box to be checked in the event of a recount or the verify the evote

  120. 120
    Culture of Truth says:

    “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”

  121. 121
    joes527 says:

    @Bill Arnold: I don’t get the whole “I need a receipt!” thing for voting. How does a receipt help you know that your vote was correctly counted?

    In my mind, the perfect electronic voting system would have 2 pieces. A touch screen in the booth that walks you through the ballot (potentially w/ ability to select language and maximize accessibility) The machine in the booth wouldn’t be connected to _anything_. At the end of the session, it would pront out a voted ballot with all the choices clearly human readable.

    Voter takes ballot to ballot box (on the table in the middle of the room – in public) and insert ballot in box. It would be scanned and counted as it was inserted, and the ballot would be kept in the box. The scanned count would be used as the official count, but ballot boxes could be spot checked by hand counting the ballots that they contain, and any recount would be a hand count of the physical ballots, not just a replay of the electronic record.

    Maximized accessibility – reduces (eliminates?) ballot marking errors. Fully auditable. WHY IS THIS SO HARD??

  122. 122
    alhutch says:

    In Oregon – dropped it at a ballot collection site on my way to work last Monday. Nice side effect, once it’s checked in (which you can see on the Oregon SOS website), robo calls tend to stop.

    Hope I never have to enter a physical polling place to vote again. I like my couch better.

  123. 123
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    The best was a paper, scanned, ballot in Wyoming where you used a giant felt tip marker to connect a large arrow pointing to the person for whom you were voting.

    That’s what we have here in California. We used to dabble with the punch-through, hanging-chad-type ballot; I’m glad that’s gone. The only problem is the endless list of both local and statewide propositions, which not only take too much time to research but invariably lead to us being stuck with rigid, narrow laws with horrible and sometimes irreversible unintended consequences (Prop 13 and 3 Strikes, I’m looking at you).

    I’m permanent absentee but never get around to it in time to mail it; I filled out my ballot last night and will drop it off at my polling place tomorrow morning.

  124. 124
    TOP123 says:

    @LTL-FTC: The one time I had a wait of any significance was when in 2004, when I lived in Altanta. In the city, at an area where several demographics, all strongly Democratic, converged. The polling station was tiny, and the line wrapped twice around the block. One I made it inside, I discovered that there were three voting machines, two of which were out of order.

    My friends and colleagues who lived outside the perimeter, in well-off, white, heavily Republican areas, reported no lines, large polling places, and a whole wall of machines. In and out in as long as it took to choose your preference on the machine.

    Democracy!

  125. 125
    mazareth says:

    In Wisconsin we have in person absentee voting. I voted on 10/25. No lines, but there was a steady stream on people going through. We vote on optical scan paper ballots.

    My first 3-4 elections back in the mid and late 80s were on the old style lever machines.

    Because of the 2010 Republican gerrymander, this was the first time I didn’t vote in the 7th congressional district. I was disappointed to lose the opportunity to vote against Shawn Duffy.

  126. 126
    lamh36 says:

    Ok, someone explain to me this. There confirmed reports that Romney will be campaining on election day in Ohio tomorrow. I assume he’ll be in a GOP county and will get voters from rally to polls?? But wouldn’t that mean that voters will be at rally rather than polls???

    I’m confused, I can’t decide if this is good strategy or not?

  127. 127
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ruemara: It’s hard to see how a clause with ‘the right to vote’ in it isn’t about a right to vote. Even for Slate, and enumerated-rights fanbois from the Paul campaign working in teams, it’s a reach.

  128. 128
    maus says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The easiest thing in the world to hack is a paper ballot. Read Caro’s history of LBJ for some eye-opening descriptions of how votes were manipulated back in the old days. The voting machines are hackable too, of course. Just how hackable is a matter of who made them and how much attention they paid to security. In some cases anyone can. In some cases very few can.

    The same lack of oversight that would allow paper ballots to be “hacked” will allow voting machines to be similarly manipulated.

    Paper ballots through the mail is still the most secure way to go, and the best way to get everyone able to vote at their leisure.

  129. 129
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @Edward_75: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll has Pennsylvania ALL TIED

    And RCP shows six other polls with substantial Obama leads. So much so that their average lead for Obama in PA is 3.9%. Even frakkin’ Rasmussen has Obama up 5% in PA. RCP showing Obama ahead not only in OH by 2.8%, but also in NV, IA, MI, WI by 3% or over. Showing slim Obama leads in CO and Virginia. The only marginal states that are showing a Romney lead is FL and NC.

    Silver’s giving Obama a 86+% chance to win. Sam Wang 98%.

    Drew Linzer’s projecting a crushing 332-206 margin.

    You’re beat. You know it.

    Hope your invoice gets paid. Why not take tomorrow off and work on that resume?

  130. 130
    Raven says:

    @TOP123: And Marta couldn’t get to em!

  131. 131
    lamh35 says:

    hey can one of u moderates change my username. I’ve changed it to lamh36 and I keep getting put into moderation.

    Thanks.

  132. 132
    Scott S. says:

    @blingee: Oh, the Texas Democratic Party has not been good about getting Hispanic voters to the polls — they’ve had a problem for quite a while with being a bit inept at a lot of things. I do still believe they’re getting better — I think we’ve got an extremely good chance of going solid blue in ten years or less.

    ETA: Which doesn’t mean we still don’t have a long way to go. Not enough Democrats downticket. Not any in the state school board elections, which was just depressing as hell.

  133. 133
    lamh35 says:

    Ok, someone explain to me this. There confirmed reports that Romney will be campaining on election day in Ohio tomorrow. I assume he’ll be in a GOP county and will get voters from rally to polls?? But wouldn’t that mean that voters will be at rally rather than polls???

    I’m confused, I can’t decide if this is good strategy or not? My gut is telling me this is an act of desperation

  134. 134
    JPL says:

    @TOP123: But the news media said it worked as intended because they didn’t expect the turnout in that district. Of course the news media said that in 2008 and will say that again. I’m going to vote in the morning and since I live north of 285, I don’t expect a problem. UGH..

  135. 135
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I know it always operates on this principal but it’s fairly rare for one of them to admit that it wasn’t based on anything but their own imagination.

    It’s not based on *their* imagination.

    The existence of the Romentum fairy was based on the Romney campaign’s spin, which was kept alive by clapping of the village stenographers. However, when Sandy appeared, the villagers forgot to clap along, and TinkerRomney sadly died.

    Won’t anyone think of the GOP Fairies?

    Grammar nickpick: I think you meant principle above.

  136. 136
    JPL says:

    @lamh35: He was suppose to spend the last day in NH so I guess he wrote that state off unless E-75 has polls showing him up by ten in that state. I think he realizes that it’s over without Ohio.

  137. 137
    Lee says:

    @TOP123:

    I vote in a lilly white area of North Texas and have never had a wait longer than 5 minutes.

    I’ve always wondered how the non-White, Democratic areas in Texas have faired but have not found any news reports.

  138. 138
    Robin G. says:

    Watching the Bill Clinton DNC speech with the 4 year old.

    Me: That was the president when I was little.
    4 yo: Who’s he talking to?
    Me: You and me.
    4 yo: Why?
    Me: Because we’re Americans, and the president talks to all of us.
    4 yo: That’s why we vote, right? Because we’re Americans.
    Me: That’s right.
    4 yo: And we’re voting for Obama.
    Me: Yes.
    4 yo: Because we’re Americans.
    Me: Yep.
    4 yo: Okay. Can I play Lego Batman now?
    Me: Sure.

  139. 139
    brantl says:

    No machines should be allowed in voting that count a ballot in a format that isn’t easily visually verified, and the idea of having anonymous voting lets elections be cheated. The secret ballot is inimicable to an honest election.

  140. 140
    Thlayli says:

    +1 on missing the old NY lever machines. *ker-SHUNK*

    Gov. Christie gave a press conference yesterday, and a question about the election came up. He said “There will be no more voter fraud than usual.” Heh.

  141. 141
    Lee says:

    @Scott S.:

    I think the problem with the Dems is that they were in power for so long in Texas that their skills atrophied. Now that they are so far out of power they don’t have the money or motivation to hone those skills.

    I’ve even considered running against some of the Republicans just to put a Dem on the ballot.

  142. 142
    The Moar You Know says:

    Well, if you make me king, my first official act will be to crucify assholes like Governor Lex Luthor.

    @Villago Delenda Est: Always with the blood. So unimaginative. There’s salt to be mined, my friend! My front yard has weeds that need to be pulled! Brush to be cleared! Crops to be harvested!

    Imagine instead of a field full of migrants picking strawberries (about the shittiest job imaginable) a field of Republican governors and assorted hangers-on doing the same work. Day after day. For the rest of their lives.

    Brings a smile to my face, that does.

  143. 143
    The Red Pen says:

    @Edward_75: I have a really awesome poll that shows Romney up by 12% — in California.

    The problem is that I left the poll deep in the desert outside of Las Vegas and we can only go at night. You’ll have to ride in the trunk, too.

    It will totally be worth it.

  144. 144
    ellie says:

    Here in CO I voted last week on a touchscreen wheel like Zifnab described. Thinking back over the years however, I have voted using punch cards, that big machine with the lever that goes thunk, a regular touchscreen, machine in Ohio, by optical scan, and the tried and true x in a box with a pencil. I move around a lot and have experienced a lot of different voting techniques in a lot of different states.

  145. 145
    Anoniminous says:

    @lamh35:

    With any luck Romney voters will go to the rally. Get stuck there for hours. When they go to vote they’ll see long lines and decide to bag it and go home.

    Not likely but a boy can dream, eh?

  146. 146
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger: Well it was based on their imagination that the Romney spin was true. However I will say that I almost edited the post to say what you did, but making a cup of tea seemed more important and then edit time was gone.

    Yes, principle. Typo because of the habit of writing the other one a lot.

  147. 147
    batgirl says:

    In Chicago, early vote is touchscreen with paper trail. It all prints out on paper before you finally cast your vote. How it should be. There should never be electronic voting without a paper trail.

    As said above, if you vote on election day, it is paper ballots where you have to complete the arrow with a felt tip pen.

  148. 148
    Tim C says:

    I will also attest to how awesome voting in Oregon is, really… you should all do it this way. Get ballot about 2-3 weeks before election, fill out bubble with pen or pencil, mail ballot back. Easy, convenient, and no long wait in line. It also provides a paper trail for recounts and records. Seriously, you should all do it this way.

  149. 149
    alhutch says:

    @Capt. Seaweed:My understanding is that “the volunteer” was filling in down ballot races left blank (county commissioner, etc), not the ‘top of the ticket’ stuff people that bother to vote will most likely complete:

    http://goo.gl/BFhKm

    I admit to leaving a few unfilled positions on my ballot (soil & water commission races I knew nothing about, no joke).

  150. 150
  151. 151
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Well it was based on their imagination that the Romney spin was true.

    Sorry, was being nitpicky. Yes, it was imaginary that Romney had momentum, but I don’t think the villagers used their imagination in coming up with it, although maybe there was some imagination in explaining why those nerds over there with their fancy book learning and math were wrong.

    Anyway, it’s all good news for John McCain Mitt Romney.

  152. 152
    Violet says:

    Do you Oregon voters miss going to a polling place?

  153. 153
    Scott S. says:

    @Lee: I’ve considered it. But I really don’t know that I’ve got a strong enough ego to handle running for office. And it’s entirely possible I’d bring a hatchet to the debates to keep the Rethug from lying. Not really a good way to get elected, no matter how happy the fantasies may be… :)

  154. 154
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Mike Lamb: White Wimmens? ! ! Where? Where? Where them White Wimmens at? ! ? !

  155. 155
    Drew says:

    @Comrade Mary: I voted against every single constitutional amendment in Florida. Really, all of them are either laughably irrelevant due to the Supremacy Clause, or should just be plain old laws.

    Some of them I didn’t disagree with-like the surviving spouse of a first responder property tax exemption, but I can’t think of a single reason why that needs to be an amendment to our state’s constitution. An ordinary law would be just fine.

  156. 156
    Scott S. says:

    @gnomedad: I will buy pizza for any Scarborough guest who will punch him into unconsciousness.

  157. 157
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger: Funny how much more often they imagine that whatever Republicans are saying is true though, isn’t it. I don’t think it was the Romney campaign’s imagination for example, just lying, they knew it was all bullshit. So the only imaginary part was on the part of the pundits, but “obediently repeated” might be a better way to put it I agree.

  158. 158
    imonlylurking says:

    Paper ballots read by Scantron here (minneapolis). I can only recall having to wait for a few minutes, back in 2008-that was me trying to squeeze it in before work. Our polling place has changed-it’s now at the elementary school down the block-and I’ve never had a wait there. Always busy, but no wait.

    I’ve just done my research on the judicial, school board, and Soil and Water candidates. No stealth crazies running for school board this year, yay. I found one crazy in the judicial races and one in S&W, which was a bit jarring.

  159. 159
    The Moar You Know says:

    JScar helpfully summarizes the Republican campaign.

    @gnomedad: I just hope Mika, or for that matter any of the women on that show, have the good sense to never allow themselves to be alone in a room with that intern-killing motherfucker.

  160. 160
    kdaug says:

    @Lee:

    Nothing but rich white folk at the voting place.

    Ain’t nothing in Plano but rich white folk, period.

    I know – I grew up there.

  161. 161
    Joel says:

    Since I use Chrome, I’m using the pointlesscommentthrasher to remove our spam-trollbot’s comments. Check out how long the list has gotten, on account of one guy!

    var stupidPhrases = new Array (
    Edward_75“,
    R.W.R.“,
    Political Observer“,
    Election Follower“,
    WMR“,
    Redcon“,
    Realist“,
    );

  162. 162
    bemused says:

    It should be obvious to anyone with a few brains between their ears that the GOP is doing everything possible to reduce the number of people voting. How do republican voters square lying and cheating to win elections with their religions? Do they have different “Christian” Bibles than the rest of Christians in America follow? I suppose any Republican voters who get caught up in the voter suppression are just sacrifices, collateral damage in the war to win.

  163. 163
    Violet says:

    @Joel: Did you miss Ted?

  164. 164
    Marcopolo says:

    Voting using an Optiscan ballot, which is what I’ve been doing for the past sixteen or seventeen years in 2 different states. It was the only option when I lived if Fairbanks. I like the fact there is an actual paper ballot with my handiwork ( coloring in) at the end of the day in case a recount is necessary. I will never vote using a purely electronic method!

  165. 165
    James Hare says:

    Touchscreen voting was all that was offered in Germantown, MD at the early voting center. The process was reasonably efficient and fairly easy to follow. I’m pretty sure that my vote will be accurately counted — delivering Maryland to Romney would lead to widespread rioting.

  166. 166
    Shadow's Mom says:

    Paper absentee with connecting arrows. 4 pages here in California. Dropped in the mail on Oct. 19th

  167. 167
    bemused says:

    @gnomedad:

    Good old Joe, so mature. That photo of him in the article captured him perfectly…he looks like a pouty 3 year old.

  168. 168
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Joel: A shining example of American Exceptionalism.

    Why do youse guys hate ‘Murikkka?

  169. 169
    Cacti says:

    @blingee:

    Oh noezzzz…mistermix is ‘wondering’ again. Like he ‘wondered’ day after day month after month…obsessively ‘wondering’ if Palin was going to run in 2012.

    I’m waiting for Zandar to check in with his daily dose of “Here’s how the election will be stolen, but hey, go vote anyway.”

  170. 170
    Cacti says:

    @Tim C:

    I will also attest to how awesome voting in Oregon is, really… you should all do it this way. Get ballot about 2-3 weeks before election, fill out bubble with pen or pencil, mail ballot back. Easy, convenient, and no long wait in line. It also provides a paper trail for recounts and records. Seriously, you should all do it this way.

    We have a similar system for early voting in AZ, though it’s optional not compulsory.

    Ballots go out in the mail in early October, you fill it out, sign and date the envelope, and drop it in the mail. Or if you’re paranoid like me, you can drop it off at any County Recorder’s office prior to the big day. We also have in-person early voting.

    Any registered voter is eligible to be on the permanent early voting list.

    It’s really a great system. If only a majority here would choose better candidates.

  171. 171
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Violet: Not in the least. I get my ballot, I get my “voter’s guide” (or just run it up on line), and make my easy votes, and mull over the more difficult ones (usually ballot measures) for a day or two, stick a postage stamp on it, and I’m done. When I lived in NYC I used to get up at 5:00 am to be the first one in line so I could get voting done and over. Utah was OK – touch-screen but with three weeks of early voting, so I could stop in on the way home from work about a week before the election.

    Nothing matches Oregon, though.

  172. 172
    NR says:

    @ranchandsyrup: I voted for Obama and the GOP poll workers all high-fived me. They’re looking forward to four more years of getting everything they want under the cover of “compromise,” as well as the leadership of the opposition party letting their ideas drive the political mainstream. They’re also looking forward to how much easier it’ll be to cut Social Security and Medicare with a Democratic president leading the charge.

    I told them that I thought that Obama would be more progressive once he didn’t have to worry about re-election and they laughed so hard that one of them fell over and broke his femur.

  173. 173
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    @Violet:

    Do you Oregon voters miss going to a polling place?

    Not even a little bit. The weather in Central Oregon in November can be icy and rainy and generally pretty sh*tty so the idea of completing my ballot drinking coffee in the warmth of my SO’s dinning room two weeks before the election has my total support. 85% of BeaverStaters approve. Plus, VBM saves the state a ton of money, iirc like maybe $5 million each election.

    Additionally, I don’t mail my ballot. I take it to the county elections office and use the Drive-Thru Voting. Just pull up in my car and hand it to the nice man who leans out the window in the temp trailer set up in the parking lot. Voting took less that 30 seconds.

    Look at the pictures coming out of Florida. Why would I miss any of that?

  174. 174
    Chyron HR says:

    @NR:

    Republicans desperately want Obongo to get re-elected.

    The hilarious part is, this is what you ACTUALLY BELIEVE.

  175. 175
    Tim C says:

    @Violet:
    Not really, but that’s because we’ve been doing it this way since 1994 and before that I was a college student and voted by absentee ballot. I’ve been to the polls exactly once in my life, and I’m 37.

  176. 176
    Lee says:

    @kdaug:

    Actually Frisco. Both cities have gotten a bit more diverse as time has passed (my wife graduated from PSHS in 84).

    4 years ago when I voted on the day, it was a relatively diverse group. Early voting this time, not so much.

  177. 177
    Tim C says:

    @1badbaba3:

    We got a whole binder full!

  178. 178
    Schlemizel says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I am delighted by you thinking and would love to subscribe to your news letter!

  179. 179
    trollhattan says:

    @Shadow’s Mom:
    Interesting. In my bit of California our ballot is the folded cardstock fill-in-the-blob scan type. My county’s was three cards this year. Prior to these we had punch cards for as long as I’ve voted here. Florida 2000 probably changed that.

    For non-California folks, we went from having to request an absentee ballot each election to the option of automatic absentee ballots, three AGs ago, and IIRC more than half of voters now vote this way.

  180. 180
    Joel says:

    Nevermind.

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    Is that because of the machines or is it because of users and scamers?

  182. 182
    Bridget says:

    In Cambridge MA, we have tabloid size paper ballots and felt tips. Our polling places are well staffed by friendly seniors. I love voting here.

  183. 183
    Kent says:

    Early voted on one of the tablet style machines with the wheel to click through choices. Think it’s called E-slate.

    Back when I lived in Juneau Alaska the entire state voted on paper scantron style ballots where you used a pen to bubble in your choices. Every precinct had a scanning machine that scanned your ballot and either recorded it or kicked it back out if there was a problem. So you knew if the voted was recorded or not.

    I fail to understand why all big jurisdictions don’t use this method because it is infinitely scalable. I see the big lines in places like Florida and Ohio that are entirely caused by lack of adequate numbers of machines. With paper ballots you can hand out as many as you want at one time and people can vote on their laps, on the wall, on the floor, or anyplace in the polling place if the booths are all taken. Maybe keep one or two electronic machines for disabled voters and give everyone else paper ballots. Much cheaper and more efficient and still just as fast to count if all the ballots are scanned and recorded at the precinct by the voter.

  184. 184
    Maude says:

    I voted early with the ovals on a mail in paper ballot. Some people had trouble with the form and I explained it. We delivered the ballot to another room. We sealed the two envelopes and put them into a locked ballot box and signed the ledger there. We also filled out our info as to who was delivering the ballot. Very well done by the County. Our regular voting machines are the arrow touch screens. Easy to use and no problem.

  185. 185
    SectionH says:

    I voted in California (SD) for the first time, and am now registered as a permanent mail voter. In Kentucky we used to have the odd machines with the wheel controller that a couple of people have mentioned – and still may, but I voted absentee in both 2010 and 2011, so I’m not sure. I loves me some vote by mail.

    @ranchandsyrup: You had me going there for a second.

  186. 186
    Ruckus says:

    @ruemara:
    I expect to be considered a bitch and defriended. Again.

    In this case this sounds like a good thing. With friends like that…

  187. 187
    ericblair says:

    @Chyron HR:

    The hilarious part is, this is what you ACTUALLY BELIEVE.

    Seems to be sort of off message. From my understanding, our proggie buddies have transitioned from: “Obummer didn’t tear out Romney’s still-beating heart and eat it in the first debate, so DOOOMED” to “Obummer too stupid to figure out that Goopers are going to try to steal the election, so DOOOMED.” Also, dr0nz.

  188. 188
    Darkrose says:

    I do the automatic absentee thing in CA so I voted by mail with a paper ballot. “Paper”, in this case, means three double-sided 8.5×14 pages. On the ballot were the candidates for President, Senate, House, State Leg, and Sacramento City Council…plus 10 ballot measures and 4 or 5 local measures. Mailing it took 2 first-class stamps.

  189. 189
    trollhattan says:

    @Darkrose:
    Well, I’m certain you had as much fun as I did, selecting fifteen(!) people from a list of eleventyhundred to serve on a commission that, in my case, I voted against.

    Haven’t seen anything quite like it since the Davis recall.

  190. 190
    Ruckus says:

    CA perm mail in ballot here. Optical scan/color in the ovals. Have voted this way in two counties in the last 7 yrs and works great. No rush because of lines, mail or hand deliver by close of polls, could not be easier. Unlike OH where I lived for a decade. In 04 I waited for 4 hrs to vote. 2 precincts in one church, 2 machines per. I lived in a blue area though so there’s that.

  191. 191
    Geoduck says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    Nothing matches Oregon, though.

    Cough. North of the Columbia, we pretty much do. I do sorta miss the sense of community that came with the trek to the polling station, but not nearly enough to end mail-in balloting.

    I’ve only voted in Washington state; we used to have cards you inserted into the machine and then punched with a stabber; if you voted absentee, you even got a little portable stabber included with your ballot. Never had to wait more than a minute or two in my various suburban polling places. Now it’s all mail-in optical cards that you fill out with a pen.

  192. 192
    Bitter Scribe says:

    Where I live (exurban Chicago) it’s a screen with tabs that you highlight by turning a wheel–it’s a little weird but quite easy once you get used to it. Also, at the end, your votes are printed on paper that you can see through a window in the booth, which is reassuring.

    In all, a satisfactory experience, although I would have liked to vote just once on the old-fashioned clunky mechanical systems referenced early in this thread.

  193. 193
    Fwiffo says:

    Voted early in Florida. It’s a fill-in-the-bubble sort of scanned paper ballot. Same as 2008 and 2010 and 2004 when I was in Michigan. 2006 election day voting in Florida was touch-screen.

  194. 194
    Capri says:

    In Indiana I voted last week in the grocery store using a touch screen.

    When I was there the line was steady, and everyone was taking quite a while to vote. I took that to mean that folks were splitting their tickets, against Obama but also against Tea Party “Rape is God’s Will” Mourdock.

    In the paper today there was a lot of gnashing and wailing about Indiana being responsible for a continued Democratic majority in the Senate. The question being asked was how did this guy beat Lugar by 20 points in the primary?

    Heh…

  195. 195
    Darkrose says:

    @trollhattan: Was that what the “Charter Commission” thing was about? I had no idea, so I ended up skipping it. Finding information on any of the local measures was an exercise in frustration.

  196. 196
    trollhattan says:

    @Darkrose:
    My sketchy understanding is their task would be to review and recommend revisions to the city charter, evaluating things like how much power the mayor and city manager have. I presume the number of councilpersons and their role would be in play, too.

    Also presume any revisions would then be placed on a ballot for approval.

    I suspect it sprang from Johnson’s ill-fated “strong mayor” initiative, which has been knocked down at least twice. Always want to do a Hulk voice, “Mayor Stronnnng!” when I read that.

  197. 197
    blingee says:

    @Cacti: A day without gloom porn is like a day without sunshine around here.

  198. 198
    maus says:

    @Violet:

    Do you Oregon voters miss going to a polling place?

    I’ve heard people in WA lamenting the feeling of awesomeness on election day, but fuck that, there’s so much vote denying (especially in my home state of FL) and 6-hour queues that I really want to rip their heads out and scream into their eyesockets when they get nostalgic for something so highly highly inferior.

  199. 199
    Geoduck says:

    @maus:

    I’ve heard people in WA lamenting the feeling of awesomeness on election day, but fuck that, there’s so much vote denying (especially in my home state of FL) and 6-hour queues that I really want to rip their heads out and scream into their eyesockets when they get nostalgic for something so highly highly inferior.

    The thing is.. WA state never had six hour waits for voting, even when we were using the machines. We’ve got some serious problems in this state (cough tax structure cough), but voting irregularities have never been one of them. (Yes, wingnuts, even with the Gregiore/Rossi governor’s election..)

  200. 200
    NotMax says:

    @maus

    Still sad to see another shared experience of community fall by the wayside.

  201. 201
    Nordic says:

    I voted in Texas, using one of those scroll wheels that allows you to cycle up and down the ballot. I asked about getting a paper receipt to verify my vote and was told none were offered. I emailed the head of election for the country exrepssing my dissatisfaction with the system. I want a paper ballot, damnit!

    Oddly enough, no one asked for my ID.

    Nordic

  202. 202
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Funny how much more often they imagine that whatever Republicans are saying is true though, isn’t it. I don’t think it was the Romney campaign’s imagination for example, just lying, they knew it was all bullshit. So the only imaginary part was on the part of the pundits, but “obediently repeated” might be a better way to put it I agree.

    Washington’s hard-coded for Republican control. You can see it in ‘Obama has failed to change the partisanship in Washington’ meme, which is like complaining that a someone hasn’t redecorate an apartment without noting that the roommate they’re forced to live with regularly tears the wallpaper off the walls and smears them with their own feces.

    Anyway, looking forward to the MSM on Wednesday asking Mitch McConnell about his failure to make Obama a one-term POTUS. on

  203. 203
    maus says:

    @NotMax: I temper my disappointment with constant reminders of why this way is better.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/sl.....lusterfuck

  204. 204
    Matt McIrvin says:

    In my youth I mostly voted absentee, though I think Virginia had a presidential primary one year (1988?) in which I was at home, and voted on some kind of machine that had a touch panel and red LEDs that lit up.

    I think I’ve only used the old electromechanical lever machines in school elections, which borrowed them to give us a taste of the real thing.

    In Cambridge, Mass., once I finally got my registration switched over, I voted in one or two elections with horrendous Palm Beach-style punch-card ballots. But Massachusetts seems to be all on optical-scan ballots with ovals now, which I have no objection to.

  205. 205
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    My wife, daughter and myself filled out our paper ballots in the comfort of our living room, placed them in their respective “Secrecy Envelopes”, placed the Secrecy Envelopes in the return envelopes, signed the return envelopes and later dropped them at the ballot receptacle at City Hall (outside, drive thru). No lines, no waiting, no bother.

    Three votes for Obama and every single Democrat it, voted against c a s i n o s, voted against rescinding state “death taxes”, voted to return any tax kicker for businesses to the schools and voted for legalizing marijuana here in Oregon.

  206. 206
    pattonbt says:

    @Edward_75: I see the ALL CAPS is now in BOLD. Does that mean your predictions are now double, super-duper accurate?

    Because there is only “O NE day left to PRESIDENT Romney” right?

  207. 207
    pattonbt says:

    Voted a few weeks ago in Colorado. A long term overseas resident. This year they had return ballot by PDF / email. Easy-peasy. Print ballot. Fill out ballot. Scan ballot PDF. Sign and PDF signature forms. Email PDF forms in.

    Done.

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