Election Day 2006

I Voted Today

Yeah, saw this on Kottke and jumped right on the bandwagon.

Okay, so we actually had some primaries and such earlier in the year, but today is the day that really decides who represents and leads us. I’m such a nerd when it comes to voting and I never miss an election anymore. I got up at about 6:00 am to walk over to the polls, although it was closer to 6:30 when I finally made it over there (I’m so sluggish pre-coffee, and I spent some time trying to convince Angela to go with me). I brought my pocket digi-cam to take some photos, partly for the Polling Place Photo Project, but also to get a record of my vote. Our electronic touch-screen voting machines don’t produce a paper receipt, so I figured some photo documentation would be the next best thing. I’m not trying to be on of those paranoid techno-phobes, but things do go wrong and I figured this was an easy way to have some evidence of my intent.

I walked in and reviewed the sample ballot. No surprises there on the races that were I would be voting on, nor for the three ballot questions. I was glad to see plenty of information on the three ballot questions, particularly the first regarding the so-called ‘definition of marriage’ since anyone reading the whole amendment can see it goes way too far. Gay marriage is already illegal in Virginia and that’s just not likely to change anytime soon. To pretend that I need the state to step in and help define my marriage is a complete crock. My marriage is between Jason and Angela and we determined that all on our own without the help of the state or federal governments. We’re smart and in love like that.

Anyway, upon walking up to the election officials, I proudly declared my full name and address, in very dorky fashion. There’s just some sort of rush I get out of publicly stating my name at the polling place. I don’t know why. It’s far from an act of bravery in today’s climate, but I can imagine what it must have been like during the first national election here in the newly minted U.S. and that kind of makes me proud. Anyway, I got my ticket and headed over to the pair of voting machines. I voted on an AVS WINVote [.pdf] machine, which are widely used here in Virginia and I’ve used a couple of times already. The machine itself is pretty well designed and I don’t have any real complaints, other than it’s a closed, black box and there’s no paper receipt (this is where you came in, isn’t it?).

The whole experience was actually very painless and only took me about 15 minutes, including walking time (we live about 110 feet from the polling place, as it’s moved just down the street). However, there is news of some problems happening here in Virginia of voter intimidation. That however, doesn’t seem to have affected the public here. News reports claim record turnout for a mid-term election, which is good no matter who wins, I think.

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