Polling Place


Noontime. Thom and I went to vote together, with the dog in town. Our polling place was quiet. The optical scanning machine used in Alameda County displays how many ballots have been registered for the day, and I was Number 92. So many people do early voting or mail-in voting in our area — maybe 60 percent — that lines at the polls may be a thing of the past.

6 Replies to “Polling Place”

  1. There were quite long lines at one polling station I passed on my way to work yesterday and my boss waited in line over an hour to cast. We had about a 10-minute wait at 5:45PM. The wife and I were Numbers 709 & 710 to vote that day in our precinct.

  2. I was “Inspector” at my polling place at the Albany library, which is what they call the guy in charge. When I arrived there yesterday at 6am to set up, there were already 3 people waiting to vote! By the time we got it opened at 7, or a couple minutes afterwards, there were probably about 30 people in line. That queue took some time to drain, and lots of people vote before work, so we had a constant line until around 8:30 or 9.
    Then the lines went away, and while it never got actually slow until around 7:15 or 7:30, it was never busy either. Kind of a slow trickle of voters.
    By the end of the day, in the machine in my precinct, we had voted 285 people. We had lots of people dropping vote by mail envelopes off directly, and got another 86 of them; some people like to come in and get the I Voted stickers.
    This turnout was less, I think than what Alameda Country Registrar of Voters expected; they gave me supplies for many, many more voters. But looking at the roster, many many people in the precinct vote by mail, so I think that’s what happened all over the place.
    Haven’t seen the turnout percentages yet, though.
    By the way, if you’re interested in working these things, it’s hard work, but it’s lots of fun to see what goes on on the ground during elections. I like seeing all the neighbors, and it’s really fun to see how people get excited about voting, especially in the primaries and general election this year.

  3. I have thought about working the polls many times, including for yesterday’s election, and I have never done it. Always something else to do, I guess, including during yesterday’s election. I haven’t gone the vote-by-mail route yet simply because I’ve always enjoyed going out to cast my ballot (yeah, even when we had touch screen machines).
    As to the whole turnout thing–well, vote by mail has really changed that and made the totall participation in elections much less clear until well after the fact. Case in point: Alameda County finished counting its “precinct vote”–the ballots cast on machines yesterday–sometime after midnight. The official returns showed 100 percent of precincts reporting. However, the total turnout–percentage of the 803,000 registered county voters who participated–was reported at 55 percent (of which two in five were absentee/mail-in ballots and the rest ballots cast at the polls). percent were absentee ballots and Given *all* the pre-election forecasts backed up by reports and observations of early voting, that turnout figure is clearly 25 or 30 percent too low; in raw numbers, that’s 200,000 to 240,000 votes that have not yet been counted. So … where are all those ballots? They’re in a (secure, I hope) room at the county courthouse, waiting to be tabulated. Tune in for the final result — next month.

  4. I’ve never been a judge, but I have been a poll watcher. It was one of my most memorable political experiences ever. I especially liked the part where the precinct committeeman, his henchmen, the judges, and the cop on duty locked me out of the room just as they were about to count the ballots. I only got let in when the cop got scared I was calling the election commission. The others didn’t care. That was in Chicago in 1982. It was blast.

  5. One of the referendums passed in Maryland was to permit early voting. Prior to this election, you actually had to be absent on voting day. I’ll never vote early if I can help it. I’m cynical enough to think they don’t count those unless they need to.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Infospigot: The Chronicles

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading