Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Touched the Future

Election day today, so I voted (of course!). Because we were not allowed to use the touch-screen voting machines, we used...PAPER ballots! Easy, quick, and reliable. And I got to personally place my ballot into the reader, saw that it counted the vote, and got a physical receipt torn from the ballot.

Apparently there is a downside to this sudden reemergence of paper ballots: Election officials actually have to provide enough of them:
An Alameda County Superior Court judge made the decision after several cities in the county - including Berkeley - had no real ballots for voters to use. Some voters used ballots that were paper copies of real ballots.
Oops. But it wasn't just my home county. There were plenty of others:

There were problems elsewhere during the region because of heavy turnouts.

In Santa Clara, one polling station ran out of ballots, forcing voters to use sample ballots from their election packets. ...

In Contra Costa County, so many independent voters showed up at the polls to vote Democratic that the county registrar of voters had to deliver stacks of extra Democratic ballots to polling stations. Eight precincts reported they were running short of ballots. In lieu of actual ballots, the county registrar was prepared to let voters use sample ballots.
Anyway, I was just remembering the little "I touched the future" stickers they gave us several years ago when we first used the new touch-screen voting machines. Now I wish I'd kept mine. Because the future is looking a lot like the past, as we manually submitted our votes. I particularly liked the "privacy shields" they gave us to put our ballots in between the booths and the reader. They seemed suspiciously like manila file folders!

All in all, par for the course. Democracy marches on, in a sort of wobbly, uncertain path.

1 comment:

dragonfly said...

Hm, what a concept, people showing up to vote... Though I must say that I was very pleased to not see the electronic gizmos.