Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Bumfuzzle 2006

I am a techno-geek. I love computers. I love gadgets. I eat this shit up. So ... if I hate the new election machines ... I can't imagine what the grandparents of the world think.

What a total fuck-up ... my voting experience sucked ... and it sucked hard. I went into Elliott Baptist Church around 4:30 and there was already a line. No problem. My bad. I should've went before work.

But as I'm standing there, watching these people pour over these machines like monkeys staring at math books, one of the machines craps out. Locks up, to be precise. This starts an internal pissing match between the precinct committee people. Two of them get up and get the materials necessary to reset the machine ... while a third proudly displayed her inner bitch.

"Are you opening that machine up?"
"Yes ... we're going to open it up and reset it."
"NO ... no no no no ... there are two working machines. That's enough. Let 'em wait."

Oh yes ... you heard me right. "Let 'em wait." There are at least ten people in line at this point ... any more and they'll be backed up the stairs of the church. They patiently try to explain to her that there are procedures to reset the machine ... at which point she declares that she will refuse to sign off on ANY ballot cast in that machine if they reset it.

Okay ... WHAT ... THE ... FUCK.

Is this the future of the voting system in America? You know this is happening all over the country ... it has to be. That's just the nature of computers ... they are GOING to be glitches.

So ... when I left, they were looking up a phone number for a county support person ... and the line was growing. This doesn't bode well ...

The deception with tact
Just what are you trying to say
You've got a blank face, which irritates
Communicate, pull out your party piece
You see dimensions in two
State your case with black or white
But when one little cross
Leads to shots, grit your teeth
You run for cover so discreet

The Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another

Update - 11/08 - After a good night's sleep, I decided I should log back in and clarify my opinions on last night's electronic voting fiasco. Once I got to a machine, it worked great. Anyone who's computer literate wouldn't find it hard to skim through the instructions and vote in a matter of minutes. So, when I said I hated the voting machines ... that was wrong.

What turned me off was the confusion, hostility, and apathy of this new setup. CNN replayed an interview they had with a woman last night (not in Illinois) who finally left her polling place after an hour of waiting. They couldn't get the machines working and as she walked away from the camera, she said, "If they don't care, why should I?"

That is what worries me about this new set-up ... and that is why I was so pissed off yesterday. So, for those of you who voted and got a stiffy over how "cool" the new machines are ... I'm with you. They're cool. We'll see how cool they are when the hardware goes out mid-day on November 4, 2008.


  1. Anonymous9:15 AM

    It is usually not the computers to blame, but the people operating the computers that are to blame.

    I believe I heard Joe Aielleo on 970 am last night state that they will not be asking a few judges back.

    I guess there were quite a few ugly experiences across the county.

  2. College One1:40 PM

    I'm kind of sad that I had to vote absentee and not use the fun little machines....

    I always hoped that my first time voting would be this fun, exciting thing... but... in the end... it was just like all the scan-tron tests I have to take in school.

    ~college one

  3. College One10:31 PM

    What? No birthday post? Well then....


    Love, college one

    (I expect a post no later than wednesday. You can at least let the city of Abe know your mad guitaring skills)

  4. Anonymous2:26 PM

    I still wonder how we know the votes were counted accurately since the County Clerk refuses to do a hand count verification. Have you ever known anyone with a computer that never crewed up even once?