Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We voted.

Our voting machines are fairly simple to use, although I remember the first time I used these particular machines I had to take my time to figure out how to navigate through the ballot -- and I'm pretty computer savvy. There's a wheel you turn to scroll through the candidates for each race and you hit enter on the candidate of your choice to select it. Once you are done, you'll see a summary of how your vote will be cast. You still must hit the big red "cast your vote" button at this point to complete the voting process.

Too bad the black man who was coming out of the building when we were entering didn't hit the big red button. His vote, for all the time and effort he spent getting to the polls and thinking he voted, will not be counted. The poll workers were required to cancel his ballot and reset the machine.

Sad. Moral of the story: take your time and pay attention. Ask questions. There are enough problems in this country -- particulary with minority vote suppression -- without having one tossed out on a technicality. It's the technological equivalent of leaving your ballot on or beside the ballot box rather than dropping your ballot in the box.

Attentive poll workers might have noticed the problem sooner and been able to catch the man before he left the building. But I can't totally blame them either. I'm sure it's been a long day already, and the number of people voting was far more than I've ever seen in the 9 years we've been living in this precinct. One can only hope that's a good sign.

Nothing more for us to do but wait for results to be reported. That's where the fun really kicks in.

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