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.