There Is No Cat

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

I eat the flesh of the living, and I vote

Polling Place District 14 31

I love Election Day. We live about a block and a half away from the school that serves as our polling place. Unless it's raining, we always walk to the polling place early in the morning and cast our votes. Doing that usually puts me in a good mood, a spring in my step, for the rest of the day (at least until the returns start coming in). This year, I have high hopes that that mood will even survive the results....

One of the nice things about past elections was the voting machines. We used the old mechanical lever booths with the curtains that opened and closed with the switch inside the booth. There was always something so satisfying about the physical sensation of flipping the lever, the clicking sound each lever made as I selected my candidate, and the thunk! of the gears turning and the votes registering as I flipped the red lever to submit my vote and open the curtain. Alas and alack, that ended this year. We were greeted by electronic voting machines, Sequoia Systems AVC Advantages. Sequoia sells these specifically as replacements for the lever systems, so presumably they're designed to fit in to that system. I guess it worked; everything else about voting was the same: the same gymnasium, the same tables staffed by poll workers, the same ledger with all the names in alphabetical order and scanned signatures to compare against the ones we entered, the same pad of white paper where we signed, half of which was then torn off for us to give the person running the voting machine. The curtains in front of the machine no longer open and close on their own; you have to do that for yourself. No smart cards of the type I've read about in other types of machines. Unfortunately, there's also no paper trail for these newfangled voting machines. And there are also potential security flaws in these voting machines, flaws that have not received the amount of publicity of the Diebold ones, but serious nonetheless. I mentioned my misgivings to the person manning my booth, but he was unaware of any concerns. They post the vote totals on the front of the school, after all, so we can see what the vote was. Sigh. I think maybe I should volunteer to be a poll worker for the next election. Maybe that would be the excuse I need to vote by absentee ballot. That would be a shame, because I so enjoy the ritual of voting, but I would rather ensure that my vote is counted and secure than walk up to the school.

Vote Here Today

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Posted at 10:21 AM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

My very first reaction is because of the picture. You guys still have leaves? *whimper* I so have got to move further south than Minnesota; the leaves have been gone for a month already.

Cool to hear that the polling is still in the same gym with the same booths. Going with mom made such an impression on me as a child that I found the other ways that ballots were marked or handled to just be odd because I naively thought that everyone had the lever boothes.

I have to say that I'm concerned that you have the electronic voting with all those flaws. Perhaps you should have taken a photo of your ballot so that you had documentation for how you voted. :-/

They don't open the polls before I'm at work, but I will vote this afternoon. I hope that our moods stay hopeful post results. I really do. I'm seriously scared of 2 more years with Bush unchecked.

Posted by sis at 1:26 PM, November 7, 2006 [Link]

I agree that electronic machines have a scary feel to them -- the vote just seems to go poof and evaporate into thin air when you push that final red button.

Also enjoyed the leaves.

Posted by Mamacita at 2:00 PM, November 7, 2006 [Link]

Looks like I'm not the only one who misses the tactile sensations of the old mechanical lever machines:

www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/politics/15957483.htm

Posted by ralph at 2:27 PM, November 8, 2006 [Link]

I love voting by mail. I've only voted in person once, the fall after I graduated from college, in the basement of a church if I remember correctly.

In college, I was living in WA and registered in CA, so I always got a ballot at school. (or off-campus housing)

And then the year after my one in-person vote, Washington allowed "permanent absentee" voting. I jumped at it. :)

I enjoy voting in the comfort of my living room, with the opportunity to do research. Which actually helped this year on one of the more obscure local races!

Plus I'm done weeks ahead of time. (Seriously. I voted Oct. 21.) Which means I can completely tune out political advertising from then on. Just blissful. ;)

Posted by Elaine at 3:34 PM, November 8, 2006 [Link]

Re: newspaper article: reminds me of C's fondness for those keyboards with the big "clackey" keys. I guess the future isn't noisy enough!

Posted by Elaine at 3:37 PM, November 8, 2006 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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