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November 4th, 2008

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06:08 pm - I'm pagan and I vote (and so should you!)
For those who follow this LiveJournal who are citizens of the United States of America and registered voters, if you have not yet voted in today's election, there's still time to get to the polls and make your voice heard! Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green or member of some other party, your input into this election is important. When the US was founded, only white male property owners over 21 had a political voice -- now every adult 18 and older, male or female, of any race or creed, may vote. Do it! Make yourself heard!

I myself voted this afternoon, when there were relatively few folk in line at my polling place. And yes, I did wear my "McClane for President" shirt. After exercising my right as a citizen, I then stopped off at a local Starbucks and enjoyed the free coffee they were handing out to those who had voted. (I had a voter card signed by the local coordinater as my proof.)

One thing I'm glad about my polling place was that we still have the old-fashioned pull-lever voting machines, that leave a clear and unmistakeable ballot that can be counted by hand if need be. I've heard these will be phased out in future, in favor of electronic ones. Personally, I'm not so sure those are a good idea, given newsreports that they can give incorrect results when used, not to mention the possibility of them being hacked. I fear their widespread use may make folks wary of the results of elections, fearing voting fraud -- and with good reason! I've heard some of the newer types provide clear paper trails, something that may be necessary to use in future for hotly-contested races, where there might be a recount if the results are close. I certainly hope my polling place uses that type when the pull-lever ones are replaced by more modern technology.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: The Star Spangled Banner

(5 seeds eaten | Eat a pomegranate)


[User Picture]
Date:November 5th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
Starbucks was giving out free coffee? Oh well, I can never prove it, my county doesn't give out stickers or anything.

I've only once used a pull-lever, I think, but we complete an arrow next to the names we want, so ours could be counted by hand as well, and are difficult to mistake.
[User Picture]
Date:November 5th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
It was all over the newswires for the past week, as well as the Krispy Kreme doughnut giveaway. (No Krispy Kremes near me, unfortunately -- the only ones I know of in NYC are all located in Manhattan, else I'd have gone to them as well.)

The news stories had mentioned they wanted to see an "I voted" sticker from the polling place, but I knew they don't have those by me, so I made do with the signed voter card. (Not the one used during the vote, but an unused one the coordinator was willing to sign for me -- she and the other election workers hadn't heard about the promotion either, if that makes you feel any better about it.) You probably could have just gone and told the barista you voted but the place didn't give out any "proof of voting" stickers and the person would likely have given you the free cup of coffee anyway, just on your say-so.

Personally, I'm wary of these new systems that don't have any kind of adequate paper-trail or receipt for voting. After what happened in 2000 in Florida and 2004 in Ohio, it seems idiotic to not have some reliable, incontestable record, such as the pull-lever machines give, should a recount be necessary. Part of the reason our political system works is precisely because people can trust that elections here are a true expression of the will of the voting populace -- take that away, and people will regard voting as a farce, as they have done in other countries that all too often have repressive or totalitarian regimes.

[User Picture]
Date:November 5th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
I agree with you, but I also think there should be an easy way to count them, too. But we are a smart nation, surely we can come up with something that is both fast and reliable?!

I also believe we shouldn't announce any results until tomorrow at noon, just to avoid shit like the Bush/Gore debacle or Truman holding up that paper that says "Dewey Wins". But no one ever listens to me. *G*
[User Picture]
Date:November 5th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
I also believe we shouldn't announce any results until tomorrow at noon, just to avoid shit like the Bush/Gore debacle or Truman holding up that paper that says "Dewey Wins". But no one ever listens to me. *G*

I couldn't agree more -- people I know are already crowing about the Obama victory, and the polls haven't even closed in the western and mountain states!!! (And there still may even be voters in the central ones, once they close the doors to new people and process the voters already inside.)

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:November 5th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
I just think it's potentially premature, as was proved in prior elections. I fail to see any real need to rush to declare a winner, when only a small fraction of precincts or states have reported.

The polls by me looked more or less normal, and I went about the same time you did -- there were only two people in front of me -- a woman and her daughter, who was exercising her right to vote for the first time.

That's an interesting promotion -- I would have thought an unusual one like that would have gotten better publicity, but this is the first I'm hearing of it.


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