CalDopers--Post your Voting Experiences!

No, this isn’t going to be a political thread; you can say who you voted for if you want but please don’t debate here.

What I’m interested in is the experience of voting as it happens. Are the polls crowded? Have the workers been trained correctly? Are they polite? How was the ballot where you were? How was it designed? What was it like wading through all those names, did the voting take forever? Were there campaign workers outside? Did the voters seem happy or resigned? Did you notice people of all ages voting?

I’m one of the volunteers each election here in NYC, and I’m very curious as to HOW this thing is going to come off. It’ll be fascinating to watch, even though I don’t expect it to be resolved by the time I go to bed here on the Right Coast.

Have fun, vote your conscience, and bring a book for the lines. Adios.

I voted by mail a few weeks ago. Coincidentally, I dropped the ballot in the mailbox the same day they announced that they were trying to delay the election.

So there was a brief period of time where I wondered if my vote would ever even be tabulated.

One of the drawbacks of voting so bloody early is that you then discover, a week after mailing, that your candidate has dropped out of the race! [Ariana, why hast thou forsaken me?!? :D]

On the plus side, voting by mail means not having to stand in line at the polls!

I voted about a half-hour ago (around 8:30AM)…

It wasn’t crowded when I was there. There was one woman ahead of me in line, and a young man (who looked too young to vote to me; I guess I’m getting old!). The poll workers were having a hard time finding the young man’s name on the roles, so it took a LONG time (considering the lack of people) before I was able to get my ballot.

I voted, and was gratified to see that the poll worker who took my ballot did check for hanging chads (I had already checked myself, but wanted to see if they would).

And I got a nifty sticker that says “I voted!” Not bad… :wink:

I was there right when the polls opened at 7 (it’s just a couple blocks from my house). There were 8 people waiting before me, but only one line with two stations: Confirm & sign the name, find and cross out my address. My neighbor was the one who gave you the little activation card.

I’d done the touch-screens at the last election, so that wasn’t unusual, though scrolling through seven pages of candidates was. There was a little confusion because another polling station was on the same street, but harder to find, so several people had come to ours by mistake.

Got my sticker and walked home. Saw a lot of people walking (or jogging) nearby–wondered if they were going to vote at all.

Thanks for the early-bird replies.

I understand that they moved a lot of the polling stations, and that they couldn’t use schools. Why? Election Day is no longer a holiday here and we had the little kids eating lunch in the cafeteria starting at us paragons of democracy with our big gray hulking 40-yo machines on the other side of the room.

I’m assuming y’all got little cards telling you about the new polling places–do you have to bring them with, or show some ID? Asking for ID is verboten here.

The stickers sound cute. In some countries they put ink on your thumb :smiley: We do nothing at all except cross them off the list.

scout1222, I feel for you–I also liked Arianna. You must feel like a Graham supporter :frowning:

I’m still in my pajamas. I usually go in the late morning/early afternoon and I’ve never had to wait. (I’m usually the only person there, in fact!) We just went to the touch-screen last election so no “hanging chad” danger in our area. I don’t think this is such a time consuming ballot because you’re pretty much making only 4 votes (Recall: yes/no, vote for possible replacement, and two yes/no measures that got tacked on), and I’d hope most people have given the issues some thought before they wander in!

The first question (recall) was easy to find. The second question (the candidates) was fairly entertaining, owing to the pseudo-random cycling of the alphabet in listing the candidates’ names. The ballot propositions were also easy to find.

Walked around the block to the senior citizens’ home (my usual polling place), stood in line behind 8 people (more than usual, but they’d combined two polling areas into one). Had to suffer the rantings of an apparent talk-radio listener for a couple of minutes, voted, checked my chads, walked back home. Total time: 14 minutes.

You didn’t ask, but: Slightly overcast, with temps in the high sixties. This is good, because when it’s overcast, I can go for longer bike rides along the beach.

The thing that sucks about voting by mail is that you don’t get the I Voted sticker.

And since everyone at work seems to be wearing one, I’m wondering if they’re not thinking “she’s such an apathetic wench”. I feel like yelling out “WAIT! I VOTED! I REALLY DID!”


Apathetic Wench!</shakey fist>

I saw a picture somewhere of the machine that you put your punchcard things in and it had a big red sign that said something like “CHECK YOUR CARD FOR CHADS, DAMMIT!” Hope it works, although I’m expecting litigation galore even if Jimmy Carter observes each vote personally. I’ve used punchcard systems too and they work if you follow the directions closely. We’ll see.

All polls close at the same time, 8:00, right, everywhere in the state? Seems kind of early for those with long commutes, but oh well.

I kinda hinted at my experiences at an earlier thread but…

There was some stalling. MAJOR stalling. I’m not sure why. They made us get in two lines, then made us merge into one, then divided us into two again.

It seemed like the Poll Workers were overwhelmed. Or something. That, and I had to listen to a handful of people complain about the wait. That was hard to bear. I HATE being caught in the middle of confrontational situations.

Basically, 25 minute wait to vote. Actual voting: 1-2 min.


Have any exit polls been made public yet?

Voted at about 7:15 this AM. Different location from the one I was used to. One person ahead of me with 3 voting machines in use. Showed ID, signed in, got my ballot and voted. Took about 3 minutes start to finish. No crowd at all.

I didn’t have to show any ID. Just knowing my name and address was enough (though that seems to open things to fraudulent behavior). I also didn’t have to bring the card that gave my voting location.

I don’t think so. I was online this morning trying to find the poll hours for our county, and was noticing that the start and end times varied a little by county. One opened as early as 6:30, another closed as late as 9:00. Go figure.

I voted around ten this morning. I waited with old people for my turn. I forgot my booklet, so I took one of the sample ones they had. It had a large purple circle around “yes” for the recall, and had a checkmark for both Arnold and McClintock. The props were not marked. After voting, I told the volunteer that the book was marked. He mumbled something about they shouldn’t be, and that he would check them again. Sure, you 80 year old republican lap dog.

I miss stickers. (We just had state elections here on Saturday.) Apparently they don’t do them here. I got them in California and Georgia, though.

The nifty thing about those touch-screen things is the sheer amount of candidates (133, sheesh!) ten per screen, and they’re not listed in alphabetical order, so you spend a couple of minutes going “Plink… Plink… Plink…”

“Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink…”

“Crap! must have missed him. Go back.”

"Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink… Plink…