All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day

More and more, I'm leaning toward, "Don't vote, it only encourages them." Nevertheless, I fulfilled my civic obligation (and risked jury duty) and voted today.

For over a hundred years, New York has used lever machines. I rather liked them. Quick, simple, cheap, and durable. Unfortunately, not terribly accurate. I figure as long as the error is random, it's not a problem. Nevertheless, we switched over to optical scan ballots this year.

Perhaps it was just because it was new, but voting was really slow. With the lever machines, you had to wait in line twice: once to sign in, once to use the machine. There were three lines to wait in today: to sign in, to use a carrel to fill in your ballot, then to get your ballot scanned. If your ballot was filled in properly, it was rejected, and you had to get in line for a carrel again.

I skipped the carrel line and just sat at an open table to fill in my ballot. If anyone wanted to peak over my shoulder, let 'em. It did take longer to color in the little bubbles (just like taking the SAT) than to pull the levers. And I'm not sure how the visually disabled are accommodated. The lever machines could easily be used by touch alone, and had the names in Braille as well as regular print.

A lot of older people had trouble with the optical scan ballots They couldn't see the small type, even with the magnifiers in the carrels. Their ballots were rejected because they didn't color inside the lines (too long since they took the SAT, I guess).

Then there was the scanner. To keep your ballot secret, you put it in a big cardboard sleeve, then fed it into the scanner by pushing the paper ballot with your fingers until the machine grabbed the paper and pulled it out of the sleeve. You were then supposed to wait until it scanned both sides. If it couldn't read it, the ballot was rejected and you had to fix it. Very awkward and slow, I must say.

The media is reporting that turnout was shockingly low, but it was crowded enough at my polling place. Though it might have only seemed crowded, because it took so long to vote with the new system.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:11 PM


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