First Voting Experiences Thread

Well. I am about to head out for the first shift standing outside my precinct. All available evidence says that not only do we have this thing, but that we have it with a decent cushion for error. I'll be back in the afternoon. Use this thread to talk about your experiences voting, and anything else that might come up.

Update: Stopping back in for a quick check on things. Turnout has been solid so far. The two precincts where I work at have combined for about 150-200 votes in the first two and a half hours. It certainly isn't 2004, but turnout is definately not bad.

Update, again: Turnout is apparently very high in Connecticut, based on anecdotal evidence from different town committees. There are voting problems all over the country, but it's not clear where they will have a perverse effect. Check out Talkingpointsmemo for good updates.

Update [Adam - 12:10pm]: OH-01 Republican Congressman Steve Chabot turned away at the polls for not having a valid ID (and in front of cameras and reporters!).

Tags: Open Threads (all tags)




Good: Long lines. Diebold Machines were easy to use. It did show a paper receipt which could be reviewed.

Bad: 1 out of 5 machines were malfunctioning. I overheard a poll worker call in somewhere to report 2 bad memory cards. Broken machines were slowing the lines down.

by Cleveland John 2006-11-07 02:26AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

We are going out to vote early in the morning.
Don't forget to stand up the signs for the people you like on your way out. Bush republicans like to bend the signs of their opponents and make them look drunk.

Everyone, please try to vote before 12:00, that really helps things for the west coast when early returns start coming in. Voting after 12:00 just gets counted outside of the news cycle. A convincing win means both that the press pick up on the story, and also that the vote count exceeds the 2% margin of error that the republicans will use to try to contest the election.

Thanks for all that you do.

by heyAnita 2006-11-07 02:28AM | 0 recs
Advisory: judicial candidates

I just voted for the first time in North Carolina after moving from Ohio in July.

I was surprised to see that judicial candidates did not list party affiliation. Fortunately, I had done my homework, and knew which candidates were Democrats. But to anyone that still needs to go to the polls, I would recommend that you take a look at your judicial candidates, and know whom you plan to vote for before you go to vote.

Maybe this is just a North Carolina thing; I don't remember it being the case in Ohio.

Happy voting, everyone.

by betterdonkeys 2006-11-07 02:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Advisory: judicial candidates

North Carolina moved to non-partisan - and publicly funded - races for Judges a couple years ago.  Democrats pushed this through the legislature becuase our statewide judges kept getting swept out of office by GOP voters who only show up to vote for President or Senate candidates and just vote straight-ticket GOP.  We got stuck with a GOP-dominated Supreme Court in the process, but we can take it back today.

by Bear83 2006-11-07 03:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Advisory: judicial candidates

Most of my judge voting is based on the bar association recommendations anyway.  I care more about a knowledge of the law and a consistent applicaiton of it than I do about partisanship in legal issues.

I could care less about Souter being a Republican.

by Valatan 2006-11-07 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Advisory: judicial candidates

Being a law student I actually read opinions on certain cases. If I find myself agreeing with their judicial philosophy it's an easy vote. If I don't, as with Scalia types they can kiss my ass.

You decided X
You have a reason why you decided X
You articulate that reason well and persuasively X
You considered that precedent is an important guide but sometimes things change about issue X
Would I have decided X

by MNPundit 2006-11-07 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Advisory: judicial candidates

They have always been non-partisan in Ohio as well.

Just voted in Lake County, OH (suburban Cleveland) and it went smoothly.  First time I have ever had to wait in line, though, and all the machines (14 of them appeared to be working.)

Only one person standing outside handing things out (an all time low) and it was the mother of the GOP Ohio House Candidate.

by dickbaveta 2006-11-07 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Can I get in trouble for telling the Republican poll watcher to go "f*ck himself"?

Seriously, I want to do it, but don't want to be refused my ballot.

Maybe I'll tell tell him he works for a dirty, crooked party and should start thinking about what he's going to say when he meets his maker.

(He's usually an old guy, so that might have more of an effect.)

by Bush Bites 2006-11-07 03:03AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I don't know if you can be refused a ballot, but they might have grounds to arrest you.  Unless the guy gives you shit, don't stoop to that.  It makes you as bad as the GOP. Think it, smile and cast your vote for the Dems.

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-07 03:14AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

You might want to be careful, he might not be a Republican.

I was a poll watcher for Democrats in 2004, and I couldn't wear anything that identified me as a Democrat, and even if somebody asked me who I was, it was against the law for me to say, because that would be considered campaigning too close to the polling place.

Worse yet, partisan poll watchers in Michigan have to wear a sticker that says "Election Challenger" in big scary letters.  I wasn't there to challenge ANYONE.  I just was to watch them check off names on my checklist as they got crossed off in the voter rolls and keep an eye on my Republican nemesis (who wasn't even there most of the time.)

I got a lot of dirty looks because of that sticker, so before you get angry at somebody, consider that they might be one of the good guys and can't even tell you.

by fwiffo 2006-11-07 03:39AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Thanks. Good advice from both of you.

I'll just think it.

by Bush Bites 2006-11-07 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Ho hum from Manhattan.  Couldn't sleep last night so I got up early and went downstairs to the lobby in my apartment to vote.  How easy is that!  And how boring too!  Just me and the other altar kachas up early to vote before the sunrise.  Gosh, my biggest decision was whether or not to vote for Alan Hevesi because he violated state law by having a state employee chauffeur around his ailing wife.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I figured, what the heck, if he really is guilty, he'll resign, etc.

In any event, I'm kind of bummed I didn't do what I did in '04.  The woman who is now my wife and I went down with other union lawyers to monitor the polls in Orlando, Florida.  I proposed to her down there on the Saturday night before the election.  How romantic, eh?  Hee.

I learned a lot in Orlando.  I witnessed people standing on line for hours to vote, and nobody is going to tell me that that's the way it had to be there.  Sad commentary on the world's greatest democracy, and one can only hope for change.

by bslev22 2006-11-07 03:04AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I think we all feel that way about Hevesi, I voted, brought Mom to her polling place than took my wife down. All straight Democratic votes. I will get my adult daughters down there latter.  No tight races in my voting area for National Ofice except I hope Hevesi will hold on latest pols have him 12 points up. NY will be a sweep and I am just hoping Jimmy Dahroug beats Caeser Trunzo for State Senate and Phil Nolan beats Pam Greene for Islip Supervisor.  A special shout out for the Dave Mejias 3rd CD voters!  Lets dethrown The King!

by politics64 2006-11-07 03:43AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

E-Day is here, my friends.

by raginillinoian 2006-11-07 03:10AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I lined up at my precinct a few minutes after 6:00 am. The poll worker for the voter book in my line was painfully slow, so it took a while to get signed in and get my ballot. The "county election authority" (republican County Clerk) was at the precinct, supervising. I know him, so we chatted a bit. He's on the ballot. He's unopposed, but he still didn't get my vote.

I had the distinct pleasure of voting "No" to retaining Steven Limbaugh (yes, they're related) on the Missouri Supreme Court - he, the lone dissenting vote to overturning the voter ID law.

I was voter 61.

by Michael Bersin 2006-11-07 03:13AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

voter 61 just after 6 AM? Wow. Missourians are early birds!

by raginillinoian 2006-11-07 03:59AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

A habit for me when we lived in California and Arizona years ago. We'd vote early in the morning so we could preserve an illusion of hope for a few hours - this to counter the talking head media which would call the election while the polls were still open in the mountain west and Pacific coast.

by Michael Bersin 2006-11-07 04:59AM | 0 recs
Big turnout in MD Dem precinct

I've lived in my Montgomery County MD precinct for 21 years and have never seen lines as long as this morning (though I was out of town in 2004 and voted absentee).  

When I asked the poll worker whether the long line was turnout or people taking a long time on the long ballot (7 computer screens with everything from federal offices to state legislature, county council, bd of ed., ballot questions, etc.), he said that the turnout was "remarkably high".

This is a precinct that regularly gives Democrats 2/3 to 3/4 of the vote.  A good sign.

by Steady Eddie 2006-11-07 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

My spouse called. She voted at 8:30 am. She was voter 418.

by Michael Bersin 2006-11-07 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Bush Bites-

We are better than that.  Smile and make sure your vote counts.  If he is an "old guy", he is there because he believes in the democracy that his party doesn't believe in anymore.

We believe in poll watchers.  We believe in every vote being counted.  We are against cheating, so why should we show disdain for a poll watcher if they have not done anything to stifle the democratic process.

Now, if they are aggressively challenging or targeting Democrats in an obvious way . . . give 'em hell!

by sydopus 2006-11-07 03:16AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Not that it matters here, but in Georgia I'm hearing the lines are very short thus far. maybe some red state lethargy? who the hell knows...

by HKingsley 2006-11-07 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

probably. Hope that doesn't mean very low minority turnout, as John Barrow will need a strong black vote to win today.

by raginillinoian 2006-11-07 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread
Good time this morning voting for Jim Webb!  It took me about 10 minutes; I had reports from other Virginia voters that they weren't so lucky.  Seems it's neighborhood by neighborhood, as usual.  If you haven't gotten out yet, get out now!
by jjhare 2006-11-07 03:31AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I live in the NC-6th (Most of Greensboro and some surrounding areas).  We are currently represented by Howard Coble (R).  My wife and I got to the polls in our precinct about 6:40 AM. That was two straight ticket Democratic votes. No long lines, but certainly a steady trickle (no dead periods).  Our machines printed a paper receipt as you actually voted so that you could see that it was properly recorded.  No problems to report.

I concur with "betterdonkeys" above, when it comes to the Judicial candidates.  It was easier for me, though.  There was a teenage kid (maybe 15) standing outside handing out a list of Republican candidates for office, including conservative Republican judges.  I said thank you and as I was walking past him, I said out loud "Great...a list of who NOT to vote for."  Voting for the judges was easy after that.

Some of Greensboro and Guilford County is in the NC-13th District (I think).  That is the Brad Miller (D Incumbent) vs. Vernon Robinson (R).  Robinson is a really nutcase.  Calls himself the "black Jesse Helms."  How frightening is that?

by stingray1965 2006-11-07 03:36AM | 0 recs
No Problems in DE

I was third in line at 6:45 this morning.   When voting started, the line was 20 people long.  When I left, it was out the door.  

In DE, we have electronic machines (but not the diebold computer screen kind).  There were no problems.  

by Delaware Dem 2006-11-07 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I live in NoVa and the polling place is literally at the end of my street.  I arrived at 5:50 a.m. and was 18th in line.  A volunteer told me people started lining up at 5:30 a.m.  By the time the poll opened at 6:00, another 10-15 people were behind me.

Once inside, it was quick and easy.  I voted probably waited not 5 minutes to vote.  My precinct uses WINvote machines so we had no problems with candidates' names truncating.  I have had no problems with using the machines in the past.  As I left, there was a good crowd inside waiting to vote before heading off to work.

I really hope this bodes well for the Democrats.  A strong turnout is what the Republicans are most afraid of.

by KimPossible 2006-11-07 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread


I hope the weather cooperates with us today so we can have very high turnout in NoVA. It's not suppose to rain until later tonight.  

Go Webb!!

by Steve24 2006-11-07 04:09AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Spousal unit checked in a few minutes ago and said it took him 25 minutes to vote today.  A poll worker told him the turnout is heavy.

Go Webb!!

Damn straight.

by KimPossible 2006-11-07 05:55AM | 0 recs
Lexington, KY

Not too bad. Got there at 7am, polls had been open for an hour. Maybe 20-30 people waiting amongst 2 lines. Not as smooth as the polling location I had in Lansing, Michigan, which was more densely went a lot faster even with the punchcard ballots. The voting machines scared me a bit, as they have no paper trail, and you vote by entering in an anonymous 4 digit code one you've signed in. It seemed to work fine though, and it didn't have any glitches.

What concerns me about Kentucky is that the polling locations close at 6pm, tied with Indiana for earliest in the country. WTF? Is this some kind of strange, working-class voter suppression technique, or am I wrong about that?

by mihan 2006-11-07 03:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Lexington, KY

Also something I noticed, I voted at a church, and JUST on the border of the church property, and it may have been on it, was a sign for one of the conservative candidates for city council. Seems wrong.

by mihan 2006-11-07 03:55AM | 0 recs
Re:IN, KY, early poll closings

On the other hand, when I lived and worked in Indiana, employers generally bent over backwards to encourage people to take off from work, if need be, to go vote. My last employer had a no-questions asked 2 hour buffer, on Election Day, to accomodate voting on the clock, before, after, or during the work shift.

Here in PA, I don't know what the law says, but my current employer discourages people from changing their schedule to go vote, and certainly doesn't extend any on-the-clock indulgence for voting on election day.

by Christopher Walker 2006-11-07 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I just voted in FL-14.  It went pretty smoothly, but I really don't like the Votoronix touchscreen machines (or whatever they were called).  They are completely paperless, which is unacceptable, but they're also confusing.  They're tilted at an angle, so there's kinda an optical illusion about where you press the screen and where it registers, so it would be easy for, say, an elderly voter to make an error (and this area is almost completely elderly voters).

Also, they don't show party affiliation on the review screen, which can be confusing for down-ticket races.

I thought I had gotten all the checkboxes correct the first time through, but the review screen showed that I left the AG box blank (it wasn't too hard to fix).  It was probably an oversight on my part.

I had a really hard time finding out any information about some non-partisan local races, so I left them blank, which made me feel bad, but would have felt worse if I had voted without information.  I don't know anything about the mosquito control thing, or the drainage thing, or the hospital board.  I also didn't have any information on many of the judgeships.  I voted to retain the FL supreme court justices because they were on the side of sanity with the whole Schaivo thing, the others I left blank.

I didn't see any partisan observers on either side, but I did get there first thing in the morning.  This is a very heavily GOP area, so it may not be targeted by anyone.  I also didn't see anyone campaigning outside the 100 ft halo area, but there were huge swarms of signs, hundreds of signs.

Overall my experience in MI in 2004 was much more positive, better machines, better ballots, etc.  The only thing thing that was the same was the weather - miserable drizzly rain.

by fwiffo 2006-11-07 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

On turnout - my line (there was 5 or 6 lines broken up by alphabet) had a couple people ahead of me, but the other lines were basically empty.  I was there pretty early.  People were trickling in fast enough to keep about 3/4 of the machines busy.  This is less busy than I've seen when I've voted in the past (though this is my first time voting here).  In this area, low turnout/lousy weather is probably a good thing for us.

by fwiffo 2006-11-07 03:59AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Just back in for a short break from poll work in a heavily Dem precinct in VA-08 (Reston). Opened the polls at 6 a.m. and couldn't even get a bathroom break for two solid hours. Lines out the door. In a word, turnout here is heavy. Good news since we have to pile up votes for Jim Webb.

by tdgoldsmith 2006-11-07 04:02AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Suburban Philadelphia (slightly-leaning Democrat district)...polls open at 7:00...arrived at 7:00, 25th in line.....25-30 in line behind me , when I left at 7:15. Both D and R poll-workers present, maybe a bit more Republican presence......Voted here for 20 years....busiest I've seen in the AM, except for 2004 general election.

by quaker79 2006-11-07 04:04AM | 0 recs
Just voted in Broward Country, FL

Moved from OK this June.  Nothing unusual, except for a county judge campaigner handing out literature right next to the polling place.  I just told him that's illegal, reported it to the poll workers inside, and voted against the person he was campaigning for.

Our judges also don't list party affiliation, BTW.

by teknofyl 2006-11-07 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I voted in Arlington, VA this morning.  I arrived at the polling place around 7:30 and waited a little over an hour to vote.  There were 2 long lines and 5 electronic voting machines.  I couldn't tell if the voting machines were Diebold but I did look for a brand name.  The ballot was very simple to follow.  I voted for Jim Webb and 'No' on the marriage amendment. Alot of young voters were in line this morning as well as alot of single people.  That's very good news for Webb.  

by Steve24 2006-11-07 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Did the ballot have Webb's full name on it?

by jonweasel 2006-11-07 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Yes, but the name was not cut off so that's a very good thing.  I heard that Webb's name is cut off in certain areas or goes on to a second page of the ballot in other areas.  I hope signs are posted at the polling places notifying people of this error or that poll workers are pointing it out to the voters.  

by Steve24 2006-11-07 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

You may use WINvote.  That was the machine I used and I could see Webb's name in full.  The machine that is truncating names is made by Hart InterCivic.

by KimPossible 2006-11-07 05:58AM | 0 recs
Camp Hill, PA

I was the 98th voter at my polling station this morning at 8 AM.

The polling station had more than the usual contingent of poll worker/observers.  

And in a change from previous election days, where the poll workers were mostly older retirees, etc., this year we actually had a couple of youngster (early 20's?) on hand to help initialize the tough screen machine.

I overheard two poll-workers discussing frustration expressed by one voter earlier in the morning.  It sounded like personal frustration with the new system, not a broader problem with the system itself.

And I got to finally do something I've been trying to do for nearly 2 decades. remove rick santorum from MY federal delegation.  

It struck me last night that I'd never heard anyone describe the Casey/Santorum race as the "Ballad of Ricky/Bobby".  did i just miss it?

by cargocult 2006-11-07 04:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Camp Hill, PA

And I got to finally do something I've been trying to do for nearly 2 decades. remove rick santorum from MY federal delegation.

Hey cargocult!


High five, from Centre County.

by Christopher Walker 2006-11-07 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Camp Hill, PA

Extremely heavy turnout, almost 2004 level according to the elections staff, next door to Camp Hill in East Pennsboro. I poll-watched till 1 pm, and we had 50 in line when we opened at 7. Three people left before they finished voting (probably without knowing it), and I was the Democratic witness for their votes' deletion. Sad. "Wait for the machine to say thank you before you leave."

Now I'm on call for poll watching (should the third-shift person not arrive), GOTV phoning (should all the phoners who volunteered not come through), or outside electioneering as necessary, at my home polling place or elsewhere.

by joyful alternative 2006-11-07 08:39AM | 0 recs
Meadville, PA

I just got off working the polls (as one of those youngsters explaining the machines to everyone).  At 1 pm, we had 184 voters out of roughly 1000 in the precinct.  But get this--there were only 46 Repubs and 7 Indies.  The rest were D's.  And this was in a  precinct that went 53-47 for Kerry.  Does anyone know if there's a Dem tendency in morning to noon-time voting?  Is it that the Republicans vote after work lets off?

by conantd 2006-11-07 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Meadville, PA

Did you find out how the vote went later in the day?  I see that English (R) was re-elected to Congress anyway :-(

by k8conant 2006-11-08 04:24AM | 0 recs
Montgomery County, Maryland

Voted at a new polling place this morning on Diebold touch-screen systems.  It went very smoothly, with no problems evident.  The final verification screen accurately displayed my choices, so any "problems" will happen on down the line somewhere in the tallying process.

The only problem I heard about was simply related to the new polling place.  The old one was getting crowded, so they opened a new place this year (closer to where I live).  I heard in line from a couple of people who inadvertently went to the old location.  Our election mailing correctly identified the new place, so I'm guessing these were long-time voters who hadn't read their mailing.  

The good news is that the people at the old location were accurately forwarding voters to the right one.

The polling place was not overly crowded, though the room was rather small (this was at 7:30 AM).  They had perhaps 10 touch-screen systems set up.

Oh, and I got a bona-fide friendly robocall from Martin O'Malley this morning, kindly asking me to go out and vote.

Hopefully things are going as smoothly in the rest of Maryland, and no shenanigans take place with the vote tabulation.

by jonweasel 2006-11-07 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Montgomery County, Maryland

Oh, and a couple of other good things to report:

1) the polling workers seemed competent with the systems they were using, and

  1. the polling workers were younger than usual, which is a good sign for the future.
  2. the line wasn't terribly long; our wait was maybe 10 minutes.

by jonweasel 2006-11-07 04:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Montgomery County, Maryland

One more thing: just got another call (a live one) from "BVTM" reminding me to go vote for Dems.  Our GOTV phone system seems to be thorough, at the very least.  I don't remember this much GOTV effort four years ago, or even in 2004.

by jonweasel 2006-11-07 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Minneapolis, MN

My poll in Minneapolis, MN was packed. The judges did a good job of keeping the lines moving quickly, but still, they went out the door. Even with the long lines I was in and out within 20 minutes.

A friend who voted at different poll in Minneapolis said hers was crowded as well. No "Election challengers" like in '04. At least not at 7 a.m.

by truetone 2006-11-07 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

A friend in the St. Louis burbs just called.  She tried to vote on her way to work, but said the lines were so huge, she decided to go after work.

by mlr701 2006-11-07 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I was really very thrilled when I went to vote for the first time.

by hemantgaya1 2006-11-07 04:34AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Kinda weird voting for a candidate you work for ... you want to do more, like circle the name on the voting machine and write, "Vote for him!" (FEC disclaimer: I didn't do that). But at the same time, there's sort of a disconnect seeing the name of the guy you've worked for just listed along with everyone else, nothing special.

Ah, well, off to traverse the district and end up at the victory party ...

by BriVT 2006-11-07 04:42AM | 0 recs
Near Allentown, PA

Voted straight Dem ticket. I always used to feel a little guilty doing that... but not anymore. It felt good to vote against Santorum. :) Decent sized line at about 8am. About a 20 minute wait. Kid in front of me voting for the first time plastered with Dem pins and stickers. :) It's a real mixed bag where I am. Only Republican campaign volunteers outside... only one person took any of their "literature." Hopefully that's a function of a high dem/independant turn out.

by IMind 2006-11-07 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Near Allentown, PA

I'm near Malvern PA, and interestingly enough, only the Dems were there handing out literature.

by CabinGirl 2006-11-07 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Near Allentown, PA

In Arlington, VA where I voted this morning, the democrats were out in full force handing out sample ballots. The republican guy finally showed up to hand out literature.  He was probably in his 90's I kid you not and he had one of those oxygen tanks.  It's terrible.  I hope he realizes that republicans want to raise his presciption drug prices.

by Steve24 2006-11-07 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Near Allentown, PA

I forgot to mention a couple of things... somewhere around 100 people had voted by the time I got there... and it was on Diebold machines... this is the second time I used them... no problems there.

by IMind 2006-11-07 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Been lurking here for about a year. I was an active poster a few years back, but so busy lately since I moved to Maryland... used to be Green Irishboy.

Anyway- MD-08, the poll ran VERY smoothly in Gaithersburg where I voted. No problems at all. I wish I had voted absentee, but I just missed the deadline.

Sadly, we probably won't know MD results for a few days due to all the absentee voting (which was the better option, obviously, considering Diebold).

Happy Midterm, everyone, I can't wait to see Democratic victory!

by Irishboy 2006-11-07 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I don't understand why counting absentee votes takes so long. They are optical scan ballots, other jurisdictions can process millions of optical scan ballots in one day, why can't Maryland?

by billybob 2006-11-07 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I don't really know. I immigrated here from Michigan about a year and a half ago. :) Only reporting what I heard on NPR this morning on my way to polls. It could be that they'll be counted much faster than that. Let's hope so.

Someone mentioned Montgomery County is packed, and my co-workers, during a meeting today, indicated they were for them as well. This was not the case at my polling location, but I was there at 7:30 AM.

by Irishboy 2006-11-07 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I voted last week, sprawled on my bed, my detailed voter guides in front of me so I could double check the pro and con endorsements from the good (Planned Parenthood and liberal groups) and the bad (Bill Sizemore, well-known anti-government freak here in Oregon).

The rest of ya'll really should work for 100 percent vote by mail like we have here. They're expecting 70 percent "turnout" for the state.

Oh, one happy tidbit: Democratic ballot return rates have been significantly above average so far.

by Oregonian 2006-11-07 04:56AM | 0 recs
Lancaster County, PA

Big Republican stronghold; some of the paper ballot scanners apparently aren't working, the paper ballots will instead be collected and taken to voter registration HQ where they will then be tallied.

Certainly hope local Democrats have people monitoring this situation...

by bgno64 2006-11-07 05:00AM | 0 recs
Mail ballot

I voted two weeks ago in Oregon mail-in ballot. Very pleasant experience at my kitchen table. Apparently Dem vote here is higher than usual, even though there are not really any closely contested elections. Gov. K is likely to win but there are some important measures, mostly to defeat.

by cmpnwtr 2006-11-07 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I'm in Arlington, VA. Turnout is massive here, and some think turnout here made Kaine win gov last year. I went to vote at 7 a.m. and couldn't even turn into the school parking lot, there were so many people voting (parent dropoff was at 8:30 for school! These were all voters!) I feel like the line was longer than in 2004.

I feel good about it - Webb supporters in HUGE numbers here!

by daninvirginia 2006-11-07 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Consistent action but no lines in Pasco County, FL.

by shlenny 2006-11-07 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I voted around 8:35, and I was apparently voter 95 at our precinct.  That's pretty solid.  I don't know who was voting though...

by themann1086 2006-11-07 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

It's raining here in Savannah, and I fear that doesn't bode well, turnout-wise.  But I just got back from voting, and the turnout seemed brisk, at least at my precinct.

by igsjr 2006-11-07 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

voted this morning around 8am in metro-north NJ country.  it was eerily empty, probably around 3 or 4 other votes with me (all elderly).  while this made it a snap for me to get in and get out, i felt disheartened at the lack of turnout on such an important day.  as i was leaving, i saw a few larger groups heading in, so i'm crossing my fingerst that things pick up as the day goes on.  

by strange as angels 2006-11-07 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I voted in WI-3rd at 7:15 this morning. Polls in WI open at 7:00.  We moved to this small village of 673 persons about 6 months ago and besides the primary this is my first time voting here.  

I have a few observations. We have one voting machine, a deibold, it does have a paper receipt running along the side of it.  I used it during the primary, but didn't care for it.  Arrows didn't line up, it was hard to see and the poll workers seemed a bit worried about everyone and stood over you while you voted to be sure you were doing it right.  

Today when I got there, I was asked if I would prefer to use a paper ballot.  I jumped on the chance and said yes!  The poll workers were discouraging and made it clear they would have much preferred I chose to use the machine, because eventually we would all have to use it and we might as well get used to it.  

While I was there 2 different people used the machine and I heard the big yellow reset button go off 3 times.  When I was leaving, 2 poll workers (my neighbors, in their 80's) were helping another elderly woman try to vote and all three seemed confused and that's when I heard 2 of the resets.

The Village Municipal Bldg. is right across the street, and I have a perfect view of the street and door at the polls.  Voting here was slow, but as I look out now there are 7 cars parked out front and voting seems steady. My daughter lives in Madison and I can't get her to vote, she sites her fathers view that it doesn't matter who you vote for because their all crooked and have their own agenda.  Will get my adult son over to the polls in a couple hours, he works nights.  He isn't happy with me when I drag him down there, but I tell him about his gr. grandma who came here from Hungary when she was 8 and her influence on me and our family re: politics and what a privilege it is to exercise our right to vote.  My Grandma was a die-hard DEM and worked on many different campaigns in her life time.  She died a couple of years ago in her 90's and I always think of her this time of year!

by TinyTownMom 2006-11-07 05:45AM | 0 recs
Experiences Thread

Why is it that millions of ATM machines all over the country processing billions of dollars every day can work just fine without a glitch, yet our electronic voting machines cannot perform extremely simple functions accurately?


by global yokel 2006-11-07 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Experiences Thread

Interesting how that works, huh?

As a Computer Science student I find the whole electronic voting machines thing more then a little annoying. (fearing it's giving us a bad name and just plain being mad at these companies for making such crappy products when I could make something better.)

by forecaster15 2006-11-07 06:24AM | 0 recs
Used to work with Diebold ATMs

They didn't really work all of that well.

And most of the programming was not in the ATM.

by NCJim 2006-11-07 08:44AM | 0 recs
Experiences Thread

Here in my small upstate town we still have the old style voting machines with a curtain and a lever that you pull on exiting.  I love the KA-WHOMPPPP of that lever.   The sheer visceral pleasure in yanking it is reason enough to oppose electronic voting machines.

by global yokel 2006-11-07 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Experiences Thread

My first 10 years of voting were on the old lever machines in my hometown too.  I have to agree, I love pressing that lever hearing those curtains slide closed!

by TinyTownMom 2006-11-07 06:10AM | 0 recs
More from Ohio (Kettering - District 3)

My wife and I got to our polling place about 7:45, and we were #66 and #67. (There are actually two precincts that vote there, so at least a hundred people had already voted.)

Our polling place had ten voting machines today, but when we got there only seven were in service. While we waited to vote (about a half-dozen ahead of us) two other machines crunked out. The problem was that the paper tape that holds the confirmation of your vote was not feeding correctly, causing the machines to jam. This was apparently also the problem with the machines that were already out of service when we arrived.

The good news is that the election workers there seemed to know what they were doing. One of them was able to get a couple of the machines back into service while we were there, while another was on the phone with the county Board of Elections, trying to get further instructions. (And whether or not they could've done so, they certainly were not about to let anyone vote without ensuring that a paper trail was successfully generated.)

My wife and I were both able to cast our ballots without incident, and were out of there in less than fifteen minutes. But of course I have to wonder ... if we're having these kinds of problems before 8AM in our happy little middle-class suburban precincts ... I shudder to think of what might go down (literally and figuratively) elsewhere in the state as this day rolls along. It looks like the problem is that this is probably the longest ballot, in terms of number of candidates and issues to be voted on, since e-voting was implemented. The paper tape had to advance three times to display all of the results - the record for each vote is probably longer than a full-cart grocery receipt.

Not trying to take this into tinfoil-hat territory ... I just wonder if anyone's seen similar problems in other places using the same Diebold machines.

by Foobarski 2006-11-07 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Just voted in Midlothian, VA. On a paper ballot to my surprise and relief.

No line at 10:30 am, just relaxed and steady. This is an overwhemlingly Republican area. Allen posters around the church outnumbered those for Webb 3-1. Volunteers at the Allen table, none at the Webb table. Not surprising, really, given the demographices of the area.


by almostboiledfrog 2006-11-07 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Voted in downtown Chicago, in an old fire house.

They had a couple electronic machines, but there were lines to use them, so most went to paper ballots. (The machines have paper backup...I used them for the primaries earlier this year.)

They used to use punch cards, but now use these big, almost posterboard-sized ballot with arrows pointing to all the candidates. You fill in the arrows for the candidates of your choice, then the polling person puts it through an electronic reader.

it's probably accurate. I mistakenly double-voted for a judge, and it kicked it back.

by Bush Bites 2006-11-07 06:00AM | 0 recs
I'm parked outside my precinct

here just off the lake in Oakland. (Thank god for Airport Wifi and Open Wireless networks!!)

Turnout is not so great in general, but people are very receptive to the message of our local progressive candidate: Abel Guillen

One older Democratic voter told me, despite my Angelides signs, that she voted for Arnold: "You know, his wife is a Democrat."

That's what we're facing here in the CA Governor's race.  And that's in Oakland!!

by kid oakland 2006-11-07 06:04AM | 0 recs
Heavy Turnout in Durham, NC

Durham is the bluest county in NC - we provide the largest margin for Democratic candidates of any county in the state.

It is good news that we are having heavy turnout, even though the impact is only on the statewide judicial races. 7337.html

______________ _
Precinct No. 23 at The River Church on Holt School Road will remain open an hour after the rest of the polls have closed, elections director Mike Ashe said this morning.

Voting in Durham's 55 other precincts will end at 7:30 p.m., while No. 23 will remain open until 8:30 p.m.

The county will not release any results until 8:31 p.m., Ashe said.

"We should not put out one result until all our polls are closed," he said.

Ashe said the delay should not affect the tabulation of votes and that he expects to have final results by 9:30 p.m. as usual.

Precinct No. 23 could not open at 6:30 a.m. because the church was locked, Ashe said. About 100 voters were waiting, and some drove to Board of Elections headquarters on Corporation Street to cast their votes.

Overall, Ashe said, turnout appears to be heavy this morning. It's not clear if it will remain that way or people are simply voting early to beat this afternoon's rain.
______________ __

by Bear83 2006-11-07 06:06AM | 0 recs
It Probably is the DA Race

But it will be nice for Price to rack up lots of votes.

by NCJim 2006-11-07 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: It Probably is the DA Race

Yeah, could be the DA race.

I voted at lunch time. No problems, no wait at all. Paper ballot scanned at the door.  I was #927 to vote today in my precinct.  That's about 22% turnout by mid-day.


by Bear83 2006-11-07 09:06AM | 0 recs
Alexandria, VA

I lined-up to vote at 8:00 this morning in Alexandria, VA (VA-8). The line was very long (took me a total of 50 minutes to wait and vote). Not as long as the 2004 elections but close!

We have the machines that were cutting off Webb's last name - it didn't seem to be causing a problem.

by Kalex 2006-11-07 06:12AM | 0 recs
Just outside of Elverson, Pa

Voted at 8:30, was number 113, there was a line, not huge, but not short either, and a steady stream of voters.  There were 2-3 very young Dem's outside and one republican.  Don't think the republicans are worried, but they should be.  Lots and lots of democrats have moved into the area.  I hope this is their wake-up call.

We still vote with pen and paper!  LOL!  Doesn't matter, very easy to make sure the black dot is filled in completely!

by Converteddem 2006-11-07 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I voted early...last Saturday actually, not this morning.  Here in the Florida panhandle, Charlie Crist skipped out on an appearance yesterday with W at the Pensacola civic center (you may have read about it, Karl Rove was pissed).  And if anecdotal evidence counts for anything, the mood among this very conservative part of the state is that it was a stupid thing to do.  I wouldn't be surprised to find Republicans staying home because of it.  Add to that the lousy weather and Davis may be looking good.  We will wait and see.

by beeswax49 2006-11-07 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

NY-20 -- I'm a district captain in town and have spent the last four days canvassing.  I have yet to see a single canvasser for Sweeney -- he seems to be relying on mail and phone, with campaign workers that put up lawn signs in the dead of night.  His campagin office in Saratoga Springs has had only one or two people in it all weekend (it's right across the stret) -- he seems to have centralized his operation in Clifton Park.  At the polls, our watchers use triplicate paper rolls of targeted voters we're picking up three time today to go after non-voters during the day.  The republicans just have a voter roll -- much less efficient.  And outmanned by Gillibrand.

All in all, I think that Sweeney's GOTV seems pretty thin, and until about a week ago, thinking he was ahead 14 points, he may not have really hustled.  His arrogance of power may help bring him down.  Wow, would that be a new story!

by SaratogaProf 2006-11-07 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

In Iowa City, where the Democratic challenger for the 2nd district, Dave Loebsack, is running neck and neck with Jim Leach, turnout looks good so far. One report from a friend of mine: "Sue and I voted at 7:10 at City High. Usually when we get there at that time, we're among the first 10 to vote. Today, we were numbers 24 & 25, and by the time we left, the place was filling out." Big rally here on Sunday night with Barack Obama drew 5,000 Dems. Loeback was cheered as loudly as Obama. Way more Dem absentee ballots in the state than Repugs. There are reports that the Repugs did a last minute shift of funds to the district to try to fight off a Loebsack surge. We're gonna take 'em.

by lazynamepicker 2006-11-07 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I am also in Iowa City.  I was number 36 at 7:30 (polls open at 7:00).  The line was only about 8 people, but steady.  I voted on a paper ballot where you fill in the oval.  Electronic machines are available here, but I don't know who makes them.  I have to say I like connecting the arrow more than filling in the oval, but as long as its paper, its okay with me.

by icgardener 2006-11-07 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread
Info on Iowa voting machines here: es/
by lazynamepicker 2006-11-07 08:59AM | 0 recs
the weather!

Don't discount the effect of weather on turnout.  Check a site like

Looks like nasty storms in VA and TN, and scattered showers in OH.  GA and FL also have weather issues.

The northwest has a few storms, mostly in WA and OR, although heading out to MT as well.

In terms of our Senate chances, the storms in VA give me the biggest concerns.  No weather issues in CT may be a big boost to Lamont.

In terms of the house, no big disasters, although OH is troubling.

by dansomone 2006-11-07 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: the weather!

Its cloudy now in Northern Virginia - forecast calls for showers this afternoon. The heavy stuff isn't supposed to start around 9 or so (well after the polls close).

by Kalex 2006-11-07 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: the weather!

Heavy rain here in NC - NC-08 (Kissell vs Hayes) is getting hammered right now.

by Bear83 2006-11-07 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Turnout looked decent in the rural NC district where I live. When I walked in, the line was very short, but all the voting booths were occupied, and there was a steady in/out (that was around 8am). I'm pleased to note that my district still uses op-scan ballots. Not a Diebold logo in sight.

by Joram 2006-11-07 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Voted absentee a few weeks ago. I'm in Ireland and eagerly watching the results from here. Unfortunately I won't see anything until my tomorrow morning.

Please let me wake up to good news.

I voted a Texas ballot and was shocked that there were no Dems running for state supreme court. I had to for Lib.

by carrieboberry 2006-11-07 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Voted here in Los Angeles Ca, pretty smooth. 10 min wait, not bad at all.  

by nzubechukwu 2006-11-07 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Very cool election analysis map from the NYT. I could waste hours today playing with this thing.

by Joram 2006-11-07 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Voting in Connecticut

I just voted in Newtown, CT, and I can attest that turnout is indeed heavy in this neck of CT.  I don't think I've ever seen this many people voting in a midterm election before.  No problems, but I do wonder how the new ballots are going to work.  We get no paper receipt, and that bothers me.  Weather is cloudy and warm here.  Again, I was very surprised at the number of people voting in midmorning.  And, because I'm totally addicted to the election at this point, I drove around Newtown, and Danbury, CT, to check out other voting places, and they were filled, as well. Extremely cool.  I also got a robo call from Joe the Jerk's campaign, so I wonder about those poll results.  If he were so far ahead, why do the robo calls??

by CTvoter 2006-11-07 07:14AM | 0 recs
NY-12 / AD-51

Polling place was active at 7:30am. No lines; lots of poll workers; no issues.

by Hoi Polloi 2006-11-07 07:35AM | 0 recs
Experiences Thread

I cannot believe that weather is an issue affecting turnout.  I would crawl 10 miles on a bed of nails in a snowstorm to vote.  What kind of American would be deterred by rain or snow?


by global yokel 2006-11-07 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

Decent turnout - so far - and no issues.....the line was short but there was a steady stream of voters (Mercer cOUNTY nj)

Pretty bitter local mayorial campaign.....glad it's almost over. Hopefully the blue tide will wash him away as well.....

by Patrick Thompson 2006-11-07 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread

I guess they got rid of our touchscreens from 2004 (they had 2 along with the punch ballots but no one wanted to use the electronic ones) and now have us doing the scan tron.  Unfortunately, the machine jammed and they took the ballots and put them in a hole that dropped them into the side of the machine.  Hope that means they will be counted, but god knows... Since the district I live in in IL is either 50-50 or lean GOP, it really isn't one the GOP would suppress.  Plus most of the races are foregone conclusions (Boo..Biggert) here, it was sort of boring.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-11-07 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: First Voting Experiences Thread
Claremont Elementary.
Where are you now?
by daninvirginia 2006-11-08 02:16PM | 0 recs


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