A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

How my vote went

I voted in Kalamazoo, Michigan; our district uses optical scanners. I arrived around 7:30 am. I vote at the school my daughter attends, and I walked her down. The line was quite long — it was cool and a bit drizzly, but I didn’t sense that people were leaving. I got out at 8:40. I noticed that I was the 101st voter; the previous voter was right ahead of me. So, with the polls opening at 7:00, this means they were handling about 1 voter per minute. The slow point was the number of booths–for some reason, they only allow six per precinct.

This is just the second time that optical scanners are being used here. While I was in line, the scanner started beeping–a person had ‘over voted’ (voted for two candidates for the same position, for example). But he left before either he or the poll worker had noticed. The scanner wouldn’t allow the next voter to insert her ballot until this was acknowledged by the poll worker–apparently, this was the first time it had happened this morning.

I was a little chagrined that people in line could effectively see how others voted as the ballots were fed into the scanner, unless the voters took care to cover the ballots. No one seemed to be worried about this–not the workers, not the voters, not the poll watchers. The MoveOn people were there, as well as Democrats. There may have been some Republicans, but I couldn’t tell.

(Posted as a comment to Jason Kottke’s thread How’d your vote go?.

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