Tuesday, March 16, 2004

My quick report from the 55th Precinct in the Wheeling Township:

The polling place was right in the middle of the apartment complex in the little community center area for the condo owners. They had it in the basement section, so we got to in through the side door next to the artificial pond. I spoke to one of the precinct judges after voting and he said that it had been busier early in the morning and mid-morning. The reason for that is that the precinct has a lot of retirees and they tend to come out early to cast their votes. The precinct is also pretty much the Arlington Club complex and a few other houses, so it's relatively self-contained. Turnout was good, even with the cold weather and the light snow.

As for how we voted, we still used the old punch cards. There were no fancy electronic touchscreen voting apparatuses (thank goodness) in the booth itself and there are clearly detailed instructions in English and Spanish in large print on how to check your ballot for the dreaded "hanging chad." Having checked the card to make sure I hadn't spoiled my ballot, I handed it over to the election judge who ran it through an optical reader to check for overvotes and undervotes, and the ballot went through like it should.

Voiting is easier than it looks, folks. Using the punch cards is about as advanced as it should get. I still have my concerns over adding too much technology to something that needs to be as simple and reliable as possible.

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