Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting lines like I've never seen.

I have simply never seen so many people in line to vote on election day. I'm usually in and out in 20 minutes. I was in line at 7:15 this morning. I didn't vote until about 9am. I barely made my 9:30am conference call. The line went up the sidewalk about 300 feet, around the corner another 50 feet. The Democrats were electioneering about halfway up the line, with a table and big tent with Obama/Biden signs. The Missouri law limits electioneering to 25 feet or more from the polling place. Just enough to keep them out of the doorway, I guess. I grabbed a handout to see what the party line was on the state questions, sheriff election, and judge retention, etc. A lady was selling donuts and milk to people in the line. I have also never seen so many parents at a polling place with children and babies in tow. It was a mass of humanity inside. There were signs and handouts with phone numbers offering free rides to the polls. It's exciting to see people actually showing up to vote. It was a circus atmosphere and I detected a certain amount of zeal and energy. To be honest, I have never seen that many black people or that many young people at my precinct polling place.

The people handing out ballots had two people checking IDs. I signed and initialed, two of them signed and initialed after making sure my signature next to my name and address on the voter rolls matched the signature on my drivers license and voter card. I would say they were doing a good job authenticating people. I saw some people turn and leave the line when they got near the front, so I suppose they didn't have the right credentials. I heard of one lady receiving a ballot which already had markings on it. I didn't hear which candidate's name was already marked. She got a replacement ballot, and they asked everyone in line to be sure there were no marks on the ballot before accepting it.

With all that procedural stuff and the crazy turn out, I have no idea how this thing is going to turn out. Well, I'm pretty sure that my favorite candidate will not win.

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