VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
Get out there and vote!
If you’re reading this and you haven’t voted, leave now!
Okay, now to those of you who have voted (and our international readers), thank you!
My voting experience this morning was pretty underwhelming. The polling place was about three blocks away, and I expected massive lines as they were indicating on the radio this morning. So I brought my blackberry and a magazine (“Socialist Monthly”, okay not really).
Outside the polling place was a massive crowd of people. What the heck? I was ready to run the gauntlet, to push crowds of angry republicans out of my way as I drove forward to place my vote. But then it occurred to me that this is San Francisco, and there are no crowds of angry republicans, just crowds of angry homeless people. Hahhaha 🙂 It turned out that the crowd was because I was at the Arc of San Francisco, and these were folks looking for a job for the day. Okay!
There were several nice people at the door who noticed my confusion, and pointed me inside and to the left. In a small room were a half-dozen very friendly people and an array of voting machines – no line whatsoever. They signed me in, guessed from my address that I was living in a loft, and then gave me my ballot. At that point I got to explore my confusion again, because here in SF, we don’t have “voting machines”. We don’t even have “punch cards”. So the “voting machines” were basically just tables with pens. Um, oooookay.
We’re using the “optical scan” ballots here, here’s an example of how those work:
Did I mention that I read through 400 PAGES of material on the election last night? I had information from the state, supplementary information from the state, and information from the city. I’ve never voted for so many things in my life! It was nice having all that info, but a bit overwhelming. No wonder Schwarzenegger, the democrats, the republicans, and progressives all send out their recommendations. Who reads all this stuff?
Anyway. It took me about five minutes to put cast my votes, then another few minutes to snap my picture for Robin’s photoblog (link forthcoming). After double-checking my ballots I tore off the receipts and stuffed the ballots into a big red box. Which was sitting underneath an optical scanner. Um, aren’t we supposed to scan these? I guess not. The box was marked “Auxiliary Ballot Box”. Maybe it actually led to a shredder. 😉 Guess I’ll never know!
The huge voter booklet they send is so full of obsfucation. Now I just read the SF Bay Guardian’s endorsements. They write clearly and convincingly and seem to be really well researched. And trustworthy, from my point of view.
Drat! I should have looked at that. Okay, I just did. Noticed that I voted with the SF Chronicle on 16, SF Guardian on 22. I can see what you mean – thanks for the tip!