November 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm #172014
Hit Reply or Awesome if you voted in this year’s election.
Even a smily face in your reply works to let the world know that you voted.
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November 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm #172068
I will vote on the way home from work tonight. Even if the lines continue to be long. Polls in MA are open until 8:00 PM EST.
November 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm #172066
Great! Be sure to come back and click Awesome or hit Reply after you cast your vote. Maybe see you tomorrow? 🙂
November 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm #172064
1) Kudos to all those who have worked to make voting possible today for those seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy. One doesn’t automatically think of it as “defense of the nation”, but when you pause to reflect, that’s exactly what it is. Equal kudos to those who, despite the misery thrust upon them, are standing in line today to vote. I don’t know that it is possible for anyone to feel more patriotic today, or testify on behalf of your nation, than those folks will. Good on all concerned.
2) I hope whatever the outcomes (and lest we forget, as important as presidential politics and the role of the White House can be, there’s a whole lotta other stuff to be determined today as well), that they are clear enough for folks to say “Okay, this is what I have to work with. Now let me get to work.” There’s too much to be done to let bitterness and suspicion become roadblocks.
Vote. Feel good about the fact you did. And then, in the immortal words of Stompin’ Tom Connors, get at it and to it!
November 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm #172062
Great points, Mark!
I probably don’t have to ask, but did you vote already?
November 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm #172060
Well, I thank you for the cordial invitation and the question, David, but as a Canadian citizen, I’m afraid polling officers would likely frown upon it. I don’t mind waiting in lineups, but there has to be something in it for me at the end. 🙂
But it’s like driving by a wedding, isn’t it? You don’t have to be a member of the wedding party for the sight of it to make you feel warm and happy inside, honk your horn, and bring a smile to your face. As social institutions go, I think democracy is certainly one of the better ones, and I always enjoy seeing it in progress.
I don’t say this cynically, but I wonder what the cost amounts to, per vote, when you consider how much money has been spent over the past 18 months, not only in persuading voters (including primaries), but in preparing for, and carrying out, the operational side of the election (voter registration, polling station staff, any voting technology, etc.). What’s the total tab for all of that, divided by the total number of votes cast? I’ve never actually seen a dollar figure anywhere, but I’d imagine the amount to be embarrassingly high, of the sort that leads one to think “Cripes, if they spent THAT much on me, I better vote!”.
November 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm #172058
Voted right after the morning rush was over… Daughter was in line when polls opened and she left shortly before 8 AM I arrived at 8:30 NO line although 14 of 15 booths had people voting in them… This being able to pick the time of voting is ANOTHER big plus of being retired!
November 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm #172056
LOL! I forgot you are a Canadian. Of course you didn’t vote.
November 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm #172054
I headed over well before lunch. Everyone was cordial and friendly. It was fun to see a lot of folks I know. I secretly wondered who was voting for whom. More importantly, why. Everyone is too polite to ask – thank goodness. Many hallway brawls avoided. lol!
November 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm #172052
Our voting process must feel like sci-fi to you folks. We show up to the polling station, show the appropriate ID, get handed a paper ballot, and sent over to a table with a little cardboard barrier so no one can see what you’re writing, where we put a single X on the ballot, and bring it back to fold and place in the ballot box, where they get counted at the end of the day. No separate votes for president, congressman or senator, or sheriff, or judge, or whatever. No propositions to consider (we substitute angry calls, forum posts, and e-mails for that). One single vote on one thing: who will represent your riding. There may well be as many as 8 or 10 candidates, given that there are 3 major national, one major regional, and one minor national party, not to mention the small single-issue parties. But ultimately, it’s one X, and a fairly simply ballot.
In and out in minutes. The Westminister system is a beautiful thing, baby!
I was recently chatting with a Member of Parliament from northern British Columbia, whose riding/constituency is something like 220,000-240,000 square kilometers in size (Just a little smaller than Nevada), and his riding isn’t even the largest! Yep, democracy is a little different from place to place.
November 7, 2012 at 11:34 am #172050
I voted absentee earlier in the month. Somewhat wasted effort given the outcome but it is both a civic duty and a fundamental right of citizenship.
November 7, 2012 at 11:34 am #172048
Mark – There are many jurisdiction in the United States where non citizens would be welcome to vote, repeatedly and in multiple locations on the same day as long as you vote correctly. Many of these communities are less than 1/2 a days drive from most of eastern Canada but you do not need to actually make the trip. Just provide the right people some minimal information and they will eagerly take care of the rest.
November 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm #172046
I volunteered as an election officer in Fairfax County. We worked from 5:00 am until almost midnight. All day long, our lines were out the door with an average 1 1/2 hour wait. Even though the election was scheduled to close at 7:00 pm, our last voters left at 8:30. Great to meet a lot of first-time voters and to see so many energized voters. It was certainly gratifying to see democracy in action!
November 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm #172044
My wife and I voted last evening, and we brought our three kids (ranging from 5 yrs old to 18 months) along. It was an educational experience for them. I stayed up way too late watching the returns. But coffee is a wonderful thing.
November 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm #172042
Peter, I’m sure you were being sarcastic. I appreciate that. Seriously, our voting laws are definitely in need of reform to prevent just the kinds of illegal/immoral activities you allude to which are standard practice in jurisdictions like Cook County IL.
November 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm #172040
Samuel – I was aiming for lighthearted satire, sorry if it came off as sarcasm. Having worked as an election monitor in more polling places than I care to remember, I understand voter fraud is a very real, very serious issue; but most of the rhetoric from all sides of this issue is very misguided. We need to use technology to make it easier for every legally eligable citizen of a jurisdiction to vote once each election cycle. The same technology which makes it easier to vote, can also make it easier to reduce voter fraud to inconsequntial levels. If I were setting up the system, I would first use data mining to identify every possible legally eligable citizen. Next, I would send teams of canvassers out to proactively register all of them and collect biometric id, most likely fingerprint or iris scan, to facilitate positive id during an extended voting period. I would than distribute downloadable voting apps for use on personal mobile devices and computer voting stations located in libraries, government offices and other secure locations accessable to the public. Between Memorial Day and Fourth of July, voters would be able to scan thier biometric id into a voting device, enter a personal pin code and access a secure website where they could vote on referendum issues specific to their jurisdiction as well as participate in the primary phase of elections. All candidates would be listed without party identification and any recieving more than 50% of the vote would be considered elected. If no candidate recieves 50%, the top two would face a runoff with votes cast by the same process between Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day.
The data mining, proactive registration and easy access to voting devices would help maximise participation. The data mining and use of biometric id for positive id would do far more than the current security theater at most polling places to reduce vote fraud. The “jungle primary” system has been used for a long time in Louisiana and was recently adopted in California. It has not been as transformational as some have hoped but does tend to produce elected officials who are somewhat more represenative of the broad views of their constituents.
November 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm #172038
I’ve seen some of those ballots (or at least what are presented as undoctored images of them), and the risk of voter confusion vastly exceeds the risk of voter fraud.
And since we’re in the spirit, that is both satire and comment. 😉
November 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm #172036
I voted early in DC last week, and was in Virginia to help with GOTV efforts from Saturday morning until yesterday evening. Fast and simple process at the polls, and a great experience talking to folks about the importance of voting.
November 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm #172034
My wife and I have a tradition of bringing our kids with us when we vote. They need to see it, and they need to have a sense of anticipatory excitement about it. Because they may be kids now, but it won’t be that long before they are voters too.
In the case of our older son, he was actually a polling officer at a university polling station a few elections back. He related many instances where he had to argue with voters who were absolutely convinced on voting day that, because they had been living in residence for 2 months, they could simply vote on campus for the candidates in THAT district, rather than the district where their permanent mailing address is. Lucky for him, he’s built like a linebacker, so he tended to win those disputes handily.
I’d like to think that his dedication to the task of a clean election had its foundations in accompanying us to the polling station when he was younger.
November 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm #172032
November 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm #172030
What a great way to introduce the kids to the process!
November 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm #172028
Awesome, Ami! Great that you were helping out like that. So what was your pitch?
November 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm #172026
November 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm #172024
Wow, Terry… That’s dedication. Thank you for volunteering to do that! I have a neighbor who does that & I appreciate how much work that can be.
November 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm #172022
May or may NOT be directly related but…
After voting Tuesday at 8:30 in the morning in a suburb of the 4th largest city in the US and NOT having to deal with any waiting time I watched both local and national news “railing” about the wait times for voting…
What am I missing, the precinct I voted in dealt with 1035 voters over 12 hours and the longest wait that I am AWARE of was the hour or so wait at 7 AM and again at 5:30 PM. Watched news stories that indicated in Houston the wait to vote was as long as 3 hours and nationally there were places that had to wait 5 hours
Was it because this was suburban voting location, and the “powerbrokers“, didn’t want to anger/drive off the voters? Was my minimal wait closer to the norm and the “obscene” long waits were the true exceptions and were in fact “newsworthy”?
November 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm #172020
It seems like a lot more people voted absentee this election. Maybe I was just exposed to more of them. I’ve never voted that way. It’s as simple as mailing in your ballot?
November 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm #172018
My wait time was maybe 40 minutes. I personally think the press looks for 3-5 hour stories because they get our attention better than saying the majority of people went through lines relatively pain-free.
A big thanks to all of our voting judges/volunteers! At least where I live, they did a great job! I am grateful they stepped forward.
November 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm #172016
Kids tend to pick up on what parents treat as a big deal. By making voting a priority in your family, Mark, it sounds like the kids appreciate the process. 🙂
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