Tuesday night was an historic night, to say the least. Even though I never prefer to engage in political debate (but have a new found interest in Hockey and the Canadian Football League), I value the process and hate when people have an excuse to question the system…
…like I have now.
Tuesday Night I did NOT see the long lines to vote, and found a lovely little precinct when I went to cast my ballot. All seemed normal when I received my ballot, until I turned to look for the voting machines. I saw some tables with a 4 way partition on them, lots of school lunch tables, and folks just scattered everywhere…voting. But…no machines.
I went to find a place to fill out my ballot, and realized I needed a pen (Alabama uses the “fill-in the circle” method of voting…like the lottery). I began to wander through the hall, and noticed that I could read EVERYONE’S ballot. This was not a secret ballot…in fact I knew who at least 10 different people were voting for before I borrowed a pen from someone who was finishing up. As I walked to where I thought I would have some privacy, I walked past an older woman who was filling out her ballot with some assistance from the person sitting next to her. I could not believe my ears…but I actually heard the words: “This is where you want to mark the bubble”…
This older woman may not have known who she was voting for, but I took a long look as I filled out my ballot…hovering over her table. She was for Obama, or at least her companion had her fill out the Obama bubble. Of course, it did not help that Democratic candidates were listed first in all categories. Easy for the lazy voter…just fill out the first name you see.
I finished up my ballot, and walked to the voting machine…a giant scantron. As I walked up to it, a poll worker had a stack of completed ballots in her hand…the top one turned face up, so that we all could see who this person voted for. I walked away stunned after placing my ballot in the scantron, never to be seen again…
There is a flaw in the system. Voters need to be kept separated from one another during the voting process, and a polling place should NOT look like a dorm during an open book quiz. Every time I have voted up until now, has been a personal experience, secure and private…this was just odd.
DID Obama really win the election? Who knows…but I know that Obama did well among voters who required help in my precinct.