Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I Voted

I voted this morning before work as planned (and I have the sticker to prove it). My polling place is the Fridley City Hall. The line was quite long, stretching almost to the door, down two flights of stairs, winding through a lobby, and finally into the polling room. It took me about 40 minutes to get from the back of the line to the booth. Comments from the election judges suggested this was heavier than normal, but not shockingly so. Minnesota is known for heavy voter turnout on a regular basis.

Per the Elder's suggestion, I wrote in Powerline’s Scott “Big Trunk” Johnson (my write in included the “Big Trunk” part, since there are probably many Scott Johnson’s in Minnesota) for the highest unopposed judicial race. I didn't have the patience to write him in for ALL the other judicial races.

The weather was pretty typical for this time of year. A light drizzle. Temps in the 40’s. Nothing to keep people away from the polls.

I voted during the “before work” rush. The line was less than half as long by the time I left the polling place.

I didn’t see any poll watchers, and the election judges seemed to be the usual ones. All in the “retirement age” demographic, but all very polite and professional. Things were running smoothly. The election judges were meticulously checking the voter rolls, and following the proper procedures. A couple of anecdotes as illustration: When the woman checking me in asked for my name and address, she made sure she kept the registration list hidden from my view so I couldn’t simply read a name on the list to her. I still think Minnesota should require photo ID, but given the state of the law this is the right way to handle it. I also saw one woman attempting to register being sent to her proper precinct by the election judge handling new voter registration. Very friendly and helpful, but also very firm.

I’m not terribly worried about fraud in my precinct, but the machine to read in the ballots was broken, requiring voters to toss them manually into an opening in the side, rather than feed them into the automated ballot-grabbing thingy. I’m assuming the broken mechanism is supposed to keep the ballots neatly aligned for later scanning. The fact that it was broken might result in extra spoilage.

The precinct I live in is predominantly DFL, but not overwhelmingly so. I saw quite a few more Bush signs this year than I expected. It seems most of the new families moving into the area (my own included) are largely Republican, while the older, mostly retired-age folks who have lived there longer remain staunchly DFL. I doubt Bush will carry my precinct this year. But he'll get more votes from here this time than he did in 2000. And every vote counts toward the goal of getting Minnesota's 10 electoral votes.

I'm feeling confident, but not cocky.


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