Tuesday, November 6, 2012

IT'S WHAT MAKES US A DEMOCRACY: NO POLITICS, but did you vote today or earlier or not at all? And were the lines short or long or brisk or festive? And if you're one of our Jersey-Americans, did you do the email thing? And if you answered any of these questions, DO NOT TELL US OR COYLY HINT WHO OR WHAT YOU VOTED FOR. Unless there was a bear-baiting ballot measure in your state, because I miss those.

56 comments:

  1. Yay voting! About an hour line all in in Murray Hill, Manhattan, which seemed to be something of a pickup scene (I did not participate). Utterly boring on the ballot--most races had nominal opposition, and all judges were running unopposed--no bear-baiting.

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  2. Adlai5:46 PM

    About half an hour in Chicago this morning. Voting for (or against! I say coyly) all those judges is time consuming. Did enjoy getting to vote on a state constitutional amendment. Wrote in a bear baiting referendum for old times' sake.

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  3. bristlesage5:46 PM

    I stopped by this morning, but my polling place had a line for the first time ever--seriously, never seen one there before. I'm guessing it was the exact time I was there, but maybe people in Rahm Emanuel's neighborhood, where I live, are just super into voting this year? Anyway, I'm taking off early today to complete my civic duty.

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  4. I voted this morning. Lines were very short in Sunnyside, Queens, but that's normal for our polling place - they have about ten election districts voting in that one spot, so each line is relatively short (except the line to get on to find out your district if you don't know it). About eight people ahead of me on my district line. Not festive at all, though.

    I don't love the new voting system in NYC, filling out those little bubbles in pen and then feeding the page through a scanner. It reminds me of "scan tron" tests from high school. I miss the old fashioned voting booths, with their clickers and big old lever to open and close the curtain.

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  5. Maggie5:47 PM

    Voted absentee by mail in VA, which given the reports of 3 hour lines at my polling place in Arlington, seems like a good choice. When I ran past the polling place at 6:15am (15 minutes after it opened) the line outside was already almost a block long. I'm sure the lines are frustrating for people, but seeing people exercise this right makes me pretty darn happy.

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  6. I voted this morning in Portage Park on the northwest side of Chicago. As usual, no wait, no fuss, and I was out in 15 minutes. The longest part was voting yes or no on the judges. Sadly, no bear baiting here either, but there was a confusingly worded amendment dealing with pension funding. I heard from some people at work that they had short waits, mostly due to our Chicago's new ward map and confusion over incorrect polling places.

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  7. Renee5:47 PM

    I voted this morning. Got to my polling place at 7:15 and was back in my car at 8. Not many contested races and only one statewide amendment here, so it was quick and easy. Apparently a lot of other local polling stations have too few machines (and the few they have aren't working), so I'm very grateful that my opportunity to vote was smooth-sailing. I even made it into work on time (which was kind of a bummer because we were allowed to be late or leave early to go vote :))

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  8. I read a Facebook post from a recent Virginia transplant from Chicago who had one of those "I'm not in Chicago anymore" realizations when someone in front of her in line used a concealed carry card as his or her voter ID.

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  9. Dave S5:47 PM

    No line 9:15ish at polling place in Suburban Philadelphia, though they did say there had been one at 7 when they opened.

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  10. Marsha5:47 PM

    Voted last Thursday. Took the kids with me for the first time, so it was more fun than usual. They loved it. Yes, voting on judges takes forever (frankly, the voting part I don't mind, it's the two times through verifying all those judicial votes that drives me batty). Short line, but not right to the machine either.



    We vote on touch screens. Count me with the group that misses the big machines with the little levers. There is no more satisfying sound in the world than your vote registering when you pull the lever to open the curtain.


    Also, I miss the "I voted" stickers. In Chicago we just get a tear off piece of paper. Sad.

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  11. bristlesage5:47 PM

    I mentioned this to my dad, and after he early voted, he asked for extra stickers--so now I have a sticker at the ready, though it does say that I voted in Clark County, NV. Heh.

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  12. Watts5:47 PM

    I voted a week ago today. Walked right up to the voting machine. And you can tell which way Clarke County votes because the places on the screen for one particular party were worn and sticky. Either that or the members of that party have particularly jammy hands.

    Boring ballot with a lot of unopposed candidates and only two statewide ballots. (We got to vote for Sunday alcohol sales at the local level over the summer. It passed in a landslide.)

    I did vote for a write-in candidate for the first time ever (in an unopposed race where I did not care for the incumbent) and it was quite fun and I plan to do it in the future for all unopposed candidates for whom I do not wish to vote.

    Oh, also, in Clarke County, Georgia, we get to vote for Coroner. Doesn't that seem weird to be an elected position?

    And I did get a sticker, but using the front facing camera on an iPod touch renders the text backwards. http://www.hipgram.com/photos/313731365511996457_17528944

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  13. In and out at 6 AM in about 10 minutes in Oak Park, IL. Good-sized line but moving quickly. 2 touchscreen machines, but I avoided them completely for a good paper trail. First time voting in suburban cook county since 1996, so it was nice to get a sticker again. https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/522325_10151197293101832_1056755043_n.jpg


    (I did do a write-in in a three-way race, since none of the options were even close to acceptable.)

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  14. It was about a half hour wait in the South Bronx and pretty chaotic. There were lots of very loud conversations about how to vote and many poll workers seemed unsure what protocols were for the many situations that came up in my 30-45 minutes there.

    It was cool though, to see that the guy in front of me was carrying his voter ID card from 1981, the same year I was born. He spoke only Spanish with the poll workers and other people in line. Everyone in that room combined served as a nice reminder that being an American can look and feel and sound different for everyone but that voting is (or should be) an equal right for us all.

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  15. Carmichael Harold5:47 PM

    It took me about three hours (starting at 7:15 am) in DC, which is about two hours and forty-five minutes longer than it took in '04 and '08. Despite the delay, everyone seemed to be pretty upbeat, which somehow heightened the communal aspects of voting. It was, weirdly, kind of great.

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  16. This is very much what my experience voting in the South Bronx was like, only it wasn't a joke.

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  17. There's much sadness at work that we don't have I Voted stickers like our suburban co-workers do. Then again, it's assumed that as a Chicagoan of course you'll vote, so what's the need for the stickers?

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  18. Lou W5:47 PM

    Voted in suburban Mass. 30 minutes to park, 5 minutes to vote. Very similar lines to 2008. I'm always surprised how small our ballot is compared to other states I've lived in. President, Fed and State Senate, Fed and State Rep, and Register of Deeds (plus 3 ballot measures this year). Goes pretty fast.

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  19. Ooh, I forgot to mention the weirdest thing that happened when I was voting. The man next to me was whispering to his wife, who was next to him, whom to vote for. I was both horrified and insulted for her, and then I wondered whether that fell under electioneering. And then I got back to the long list of judges.

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  20. In and out in 5 minutes in my very small township here in South Central PA. Only 4 races on the ballot, no questions or referendums.

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  21. Watts5:47 PM

    My mom raised hell in Alabama in 1980 when poll workers weren't stopping husbands from going into the booth to vote with/for their wives. When Mom raised the point with a poll worker, the reply was, "Well, honey, how else would she know how to vote?" Still amazed Mom's jaw didn't break when it hit the floor.

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  22. lisased5:47 PM

    I headed to the polling station in Fairfax, VA, at 10:30, thinking the post-work rush would be gone. The 12 year old and the 9 year old came with me, and we had a little civics lesson while we waited for 45 minutes. It was, by far, the longest line I've waited in to vote. When we got home, we got what I hope is our last political call asking if we had voted already. When I said yes, she asked if I had any friends I could call to encourage voting "like, say, in Ohio or North Carolina or Wisconsin?".

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  23. I voted absentee so am wearing red, white and blue to make up for not having a sticker. Reports from people at work and on my social media feeds indicate longer lines than 4 years ago at most polling places in LA.

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  24. pfrduke5:47 PM

    Voted absentee yesterday in Washington state, where we did have some fun ballot measures to vote on.

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  25. Tracy5:48 PM

    Sent my absentee ballot from Helsinki to Stamford, CT about 3.5 weeks ago. I could not believe how FAST my ballot made it here! It was mailed the same day I requested it and I received it 5 days later. It was in my possession for less than 24 hours before it winged its way back to Stamford. Yeah for voting absentee! Now, if they'd just mail an "I Voted" sticker with it, it would be perfect!!

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  26. andrewraff5:48 PM

    Took me about a half hour a bit before 8 this morning in Brooklyn, and would have been quicker if I didn't need to wait in line to find out which district I was supposed to wait in line for. (FWIW, District 12. Insert joke about Hunger Games here.)

    Count me among those who do miss the mechanical lever voting machines. When you voted on those, it felt like voting. Sure, optical scan may be more accurate, but since when are elections about numbers and polls and accuracy. Aren't they more about gut feelings? Well, except for the, you know, counting of votes and such.

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  27. Rachel Scudder5:48 PM

    I voted absentee in NH a few weeks ago, so I'm spending the day wishing I had an I voted sticker and that pollsters would stop calling me!

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  28. Marsha5:48 PM

    Sorry - didn't see that Jordan had posted it until after I did the same!

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  29. Renee5:48 PM

    We vote for coroner in SC as well. So bizarre.

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  30. David Morrison5:48 PM

    Took about 15 minutes at 6:10 this morning in Upstate NY (a bit longer than usual)...had a paper ballet with a pen to fill in circles...but NO stickers (sad face)

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  31. We're also in Fairfax VA (Hello!!), and at 8 am we waited nearly an hour. My 3 year old was more patient then a 3 year old usually is, but we were very thankful to the family in line behind us who shared their projects with her. I've voted at this polling place for 12 years, and this is by far the longest I've ever waited. People were all really polite and friendly, and the campaign folks outside were united - handing out sample ballots for both sides and sharing coffee and jokes to keep warm. :)

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  32. Maddy5:49 PM

    My first time voting in a presidential election! I voted absentee in Maryland a few weeks ago and I'm with everyone else - I want my I Voted sticker! Almost everybody here at school has already voted via absentee ballot, so instead of going to the polls people are bouncing back and forth between homework/classes and nervously chattering about what's going to happen. I was talking to one of my professors and he said the election night atmosphere on campus was CRAZY four years ago, so I'm looking forward to watching the results tonight with a politically affiliated student group that shall not be named.

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  33. InertiaGirl5:49 PM

    I voted this morning in my tiny Texas town. Would have been in and out in about 10 minutes if the barcode printer hadn't run out of paper and quit working after being reloaded and still not working after two calls to some sort of election technical support and we were forced to resort to (old school) printing and signing. Once the line was moving again, the woman checking in voters remarked that she sure was happy that everyone still had a smile on their faces. All in all, it was a friendly crowd. Although it took about 20 minutes longer than it should have, it was still great to exercise the right to vote.

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  34. Devin McC5:49 PM

    I did do the Jersey-American e-mail voting. Sent in the application yesterday, got the ballot e-mailed to me this morning, and sent it back. Following the instructions, I paper mailed a copy of everything also.

    But at least one person I follow on Twitter tried to do it, hasn't gotten anything back, and is currently trying to get a ride to a polling place.

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  35. J. Bowman5:49 PM

    I thought the w and I were going to head out to get to the polls when they opened at 7, but she was still in bed at 7:15. At that point, I decided to just leave work at lunchtime, instead of standing in line for two hours and then spending an additional hour looking for parking when I got to work. Spent about 40 minutes in line, and about 5 entering my votes for 8 offices, 7 state questions, and 15 (!) country proposals. Fortunately, I actually read the sample ballots that got sent out two weeks ago, so I didn't spend the 30 minutes reading the proposals that a lot of voters did.

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  36. The Pathetic Earthling5:49 PM

    I've never seen a line for voting longer than about 3 voters in my life. I think we have very heavy absentee voting around here (East Bay) and our precincts seem to be smaller than most. I was voter #8 this morning, Mrs. Earthling voted around 11 and was voter #28. There were only 83 voters in our precinct who had not already voted.

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  37. Slick5:49 PM

    Voted here in WA by mail a few days ago, which is our only option. I miss having the option to go to a polling station and feel that sense of community - it's hard to drive home the importance and privilege of voting for your kids when you stick your ballot in the mail with your heating bill payment.

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  38. Watts5:49 PM

    I've got a friend who lives in the Netherlands and did her absentee voting by email/PDF and I'm curious if it's the same thing that's been offered to NJ voters.

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  39. Bobby5:49 PM

    No line - less than five minutes car to poll to car at 8:30ish - here in North Carolina. No particularly fun races, no referendums or bonds, though we do have some former school board members with some (allegedly) exciting sexual hobbies.

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  40. Saray5:49 PM

    Today I was voter #264 at my polling place (which is also the lobby of my apartment building) as the line was too long in the morning - I came back at lunch. Usually I am somewhere around voter #6. I think the Upper West Side had some polling places condensed because many were remarking that it was their first time voting here.


    Voting was chaotic, and one woman who wanted to vote but was registered to vote somewhere else was turned away by the pollworkers until I [gently reminded them] about Gov. Cuomo's executive order that all registered NY voters can vote via affidavit in national and statewide races. So not only did I do my civic duty today, but I also saved someone else's vote.

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  41. Meghan5:50 PM

    Voted in early voting last week. Took about 90 minutes and everyone was friendly. I love early voting.

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  42. Emily W5:51 PM

    I walked into my polling place in Brooklyn about 6:10am, and was walking out by 6:30. I had anticipated longer lines since they relocated another polling place (being used as a hurricane shelter) to my place, but it wasn't too bad. It would help greatly if I could remember from year to year what election district I'm in. (Or if the election worker didn't move in the book from R to W one single page at a time!)

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  43. The Pathetic Earthling5:51 PM

    In California, Coroner's offices fall under the Sheriff, so those races are always Sheriff/Coroner, but point taken.

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  44. bill.5:51 PM

    Roundtrip to car was 6 minutes with actual time in booth under 1 minute. This is normal, as the only time this place is busy is first thing in the morning. Then I went home and took a Silkwood shower.

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  45. Watts5:51 PM

    Sheriff was/is a separate election here.

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  46. bill.5:51 PM

    I never take the "I Voted" sticker and that always pisses them off. No idea why, but It's the only enjoyable part of the process.

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  47. Emily W5:51 PM

    I have always wanted an "I voted" sticker and never has a polling place I've been to ever had them!

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  48. Marnie5:52 PM

    Voted around 8:50 am in Philadelphia (at a polling station a five minute walk from my apartment). Waited on a line behind a dad and his two sons (who apparently share my last name) and a woman who intended to get on a plane shortly after voting to help make sure people vote in another state (she also told me she voted before going to the hospital to have her daughter 24 years ago). Got a sticker and was quite jazzed about it (In 2000, I was a college student in Philadelphia and we were given I voted wrist bands; in 2004 I voted absentee and mourned the loss of some token to represent the fact that I carried out my civic duty).

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  49. Philomena Thorckmorton5:53 PM

    Tried to go at 6:45; lines were long and unmoving and only one of three ballot readers was functional, so I came back at 7:30 PM and was out in about 30 minutes. I was happy to participate in the democratic process but a little dismayed by how long it took the poll volunteer to remember that "I" comes after "H".

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  50. Watts5:54 PM

    Also, it gets embarrassing when you're wearing six stickers by the end of the day. (Sorry, sorry. Couldn't resist the obvious joke about Chicago and its political history.)

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  51. Renee6:16 PM

    Same here.

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  52. Andrea6:17 PM

    I am a New Jerseyan. My parents had three feet of water in their house in Toms RIver. For the past week, without power, my husband, parents and I, gutted their first floor, filled a dumpster and a storage locker, and bleached, power washed and sprayed disinfectant. Did we vote? Hell YES we did. Drove the hour and a half home and voted at 7:30pm. We did try to do the email thing. SInce there was no power and little cell phone service this wasn't an option. We also found out the line at our county board of elections was over an hour for three days straight.
    So thrilled to be able to read this blog today! We are heading back to Toms River where we are living off of a generator. Hope this storm weakens.

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  53. Marsha6:18 PM

    It just doesn't seem like the electorate has any understanding of what makes a good Coroner.... then again, I have to vote for people to run the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commission, and I have no idea what that even is, so I've got a leg up in voting for the Coroner....

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  54. Texas still has the "Railroad Commission," which sounds archaic and unimportant because the name is deceptive--it's actually the commission dedicated to regulation of oil and gas drilling and has little or nothing to do with railroads any more.

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  55. Jenn.6:25 PM

    Late response---sorry! Northwest DC. Voted after work. Got to the precinct at around 5:30. Out by 5:50. It was apparently really busy in the morning (according to poll workers), almost empty post-lunch (according to my husband), and picking up when I left. Oddly enough, people were willing to wait extra time to use the voting machine. By filling out the gigantic scantron (which I then watched them scan into a scantron-type machine), I cut my time there by at least half.

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  56. gtv20006:26 PM

    Voted at home with a ballot mailed to me and dropped it off about two weeks ago. Looked it up today - about 90% of the county (Douglas County, Colorado) voted early, or by mail. Kind of miss the communal polling place experience,

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