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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I Voted

And I've got the little sticker to prove it.

I went to the polling place in my new neighborhood. I wanted to see if paper ballots were offered. The line was long. One of the poll workers said, "We've had more people this morning already that we had for the whole day in the last election." That's a good sign. One thing is certain: the nation is polarized and at least half of the country is going to be very disappointed in the next 48 hours. I say at least half, because I think the whole country will be disappointed if we end up in a recount fiasco again.

I was disappointed a bit at my polling station. There were five electronic voting stations, and one paper ballot station. The polling workers didn't ask if you wanted to do electronic or paper. Instead, they just handed you the electronic voting card unless you argued with them about getting a paper ballot. Then they seemed surprised. One very elderly woman had her granddaughter with her. The granddaughter was asking if she could help the grandmother with the voting because computers confused her. The poll worker said, "Oh but the electronic voting is so easy," and never even offered a paper ballot. The granddaughter asked again, saying computers made her uncomfortable. The poll worker said that yes, she could help her. The paper ballot was never offered.

Nevertheless, I got my paper ballot and voted. It's absurd that the polling systems we bought don't have so much as a paper journal. And it's not like the manufacturers don't know better. Diebold manufactures ATMs as well as voting machines. Of course, it's not in Diebold's interest to leave a paper trail.

Tonight folks are coming over for dinner to watch the returns. Here's hoping all goes well.

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