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Tuesday · November 02 2004

Our polling place on Malden was packed this morning. We waited about 45 minutes in line, which is nothing compared to reports from Lincoln Park. The conversations I overheard in line were overwhelmingly anti-Bush, but that's not surprising in my area.

What was your voting experience like today? Long wait? Anomalies? Fisticuffs?

Archived: Political » November 2004
What you had to say:
November 02 2004

It was a breeze in my neighborhood. No trouble at all.

November 02 2004

I live in Lincoln Park. Our polling place was at 1150 W. Fullerton - incidentally, and embarassingly, I never knew there was a public library there.

Tracy went at 6:30, and waited 15-20 minutes to get to the actual voting activity. At 7:40, it took me about 25 minutes to get a ballot. Not bad.

November 02 2004

No, that's not bad at all. Better than the other 2 reports I heard from Lincoln Park.

November 02 2004

In middle school cafeteria. I think Fairfax County had the good sense to make today an in-service day so the kids weren't there. It seemed like I waited for about 90 minutes, but I'm not sure.

The weird thing was that they had two lines leading up to the old ladies that check your name. For some reason, the line for people's whose last name starts A-K was practically not a line at all, while those of us stuck in L-Z waited a long time just to reach that stage. Then everyone waited in the same line that snaked around like waiting to check in at the airport (albeit, an airport with very few staff and poor service. Maybe Aeroflot was like that).

My actually voting took three seconds. We had a very short ballot: president, house rep, two very simple minor state constitution ammendments and a bunch of bond issues. I voted for the two Democrats (Kerry and Socas) and yes on everything else. I'm always for Bond issues. Our county is rich. We can always afford more schools and parks and what not.

I went with Anneke and we saw a lot of our neighbors, which she knows much better than I do. We're very much a Volvo Liberal type of neighborhood, but there was a great mix of young and old. The guy in front of me was reading "Antirust Law and Economics: A Nutshell Guide." God bless those mom's and dad's that kept their little ones from going insane while they waited in line. One mom I saw plied her kids with pretzels another let her little girl play with her cell phone.

November 02 2004

Why don't you have 4 pages of judges like we do in Cook Country?

We had 2 precincts voting at my place. The one precinct had no line at all, and the other had a line almost out the door. Mine was the longer one, of course.

November 02 2004

Voting for judges is actually sort of a bad idea given the nature of campaign finance in this country.

I don't know why there weren't more county officials up for reelection. I guess that's next year. This is the first time I've voted in this county, but I have previously voted in Arlington, Virginia and there were all sorts of sherrifs and dog catchers on the ballot there.

Also, I was suprised to see that the Constitution Party (right-wing) and Libertarian Party (right-wing or left-wing, depending on how you look at it) got on our presidential ballot, but that neither the Greens nor Nader got on.

November 02 2004

Three presidential choices here: Bush, Kerry, or Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate.

I've always wanted to vote for a coroner, but dog catcher would do.

November 02 2004

Voting in my 'hood (Humboldt Park) at 7 AM was a breeze, which makes me a little sad b/c it means my neighbors aren't necessarily voting. There were two polling places within two blocks of my house. At both places, polling officials outnumbered voters by at least 3:1. (I stopped at the first wondering if the address on my voter registration card was slightly off.)

The good news is that the other voter in there at the time was a mother from da hood, who voted while an official showed her young son what the ballots and booklets look like. The election officials were of diverse ethnic backgrounds and ages, and they were a bit slow but very helpful and friendly.

Perhaps I shouldn't confess that I started punching chads for judges and then just stopped; realizing I shouldn't vote b/c I have no idea who they are or what they stand for. Ugh. Every election I swear I'll do more research on local issues, but I don't.

November 02 2004

Good ol' democratic McLean. The dems got there early and snagged the primo location at the entrance to the school, so almost everyone got the democratic sample ballot. The lone republican volunteer tried to give me one as I left after voting. Too bad it won't really make a difference for the rest of the state.

By the way - any predictions on Proposition 36 in Colorado? It could get Kerry some electoral college votes, but my dad will probably vote against it because it will make the state irrelevant in future elections. I say grab all we can right now and sort it out later.

November 02 2004

In the county where Allen and I grew up, we could vote for commissioners, judges (although they only run once, for life), controller, coroner, district attorney, prothonotary, recorder of deeds, register of wills, sheriff, treasurer, and two jury commissioners. I would be suprised if more than 10% of the electorate knows what the prothonotary is, or how a Repbulican recorder of deeds would be different from a Democrat.

November 02 2004

Last I heard, it was losing ground in Colorado and support was in the mid 30s. Voting to split your state's electoral votes is a hard thing to do if other states aren't doing it too.

November 02 2004

Reed, I'm not sure if most of the Cook County electorate knows how a GOP water reclamation district commissioner would be different from a Dem one either. I've worked in that office and I don't think I'd know the difference. The difference has nothing to do with the national parties, I can tell you that much. Democrat basically means "electable."

November 02 2004

I got to the polling station at 6:35am and only had to wait a few minutes (mostly for the poll workers to shuffle papers and check my ID). According to the ballot machine, I was the 29th person to vote so far that day.

I wanted to share my favorite taken-out-of-context quote from the Sunday Tribune: "Nobody spends more time on his knees than George W. Bush..." I've been feeling really anxious these past few days in the run-up to the election. Let's hope that the American electorate will put W. in his place.

Quote from the story "Bitter duel is dead even.",1,7674345.story

November 02 2004

Live from Denver:
I listed my experience under "What to do on Election Day", but a quick re-cap: voted friday, early voting in Denver at a supermarket, took over 2 hours...I read "copyright and trademark law in the modern era".

We voted on the U.S. senate, U.S. Congress, CU regent, state senate, state rep, 10-15 judges, 4 amendments and 2 referendums.

12 Presdential choices here. That's right...12. I thought my name would be at the end of the list, it was so long. I was struggling with voting for Dodge of the Prohibition party; Harris of Socialist Workers; or Van Auken of Socialist Equality. (I thought Brown of the Socialist party had a much different platform than Harris or Van Auken, he wasn't doing it for me).

Regarding Amendment 36: it's crap that people complain about the lack of meaning in the popular vote, and then don't support a better reflection for the distribution of electoral votes.

November 02 2004

A 3 way split of the Socialist vote in Colorado? No wonder the Social-ists can't get anyone elected in that state. (Why did I put a dash in Social-ists? Because the ED drug, Cial-is, is banned from comments here due to spam.)

Steve, I think we need electoral reform, but I also understand people who vote against it in Colorado when they're the only state with a possibility to change. If that amendment were already passed and all other states stayed the same, you'd see as much attention on Colorado as you see in Illinois and Idaho -- none.

I don't believe we can look at the popular vote and say "Aha, look who won the popular vote, but this other guy won the electoral vote! The electoral college is crap." People have to understand that these campaigns are designed for the system we have. If we had a popular vote election, there would be ads in Illinois, NY, California and HUGE get out the vote efforts there. Wisconsin and Colorado would be small, small potatoes.

Again, I think electoral reform is a good idea, but yelling about popular vote totals after 2000 or this election is sorta silly when the campaigns were run with an entirely different goal in mind. It'd be like getting a paper graded on ideas when you were told the paper would be graded 100% on spelling and punctuation. You would have written it differently.

November 02 2004

Steve! - What about Coors and Salazar?

November 02 2004

Socialist groups have always suffered the Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea type fractures.

November 02 2004

Why were you able to post Socialist, but I couldn't post Social-ists before? Stupid computers.

November 02 2004

I voted last week- here in California when you go to the courthouse to register or change your address (in my case) they hand you a ballot and encourage you to hand it in or mail it rather than come to the polls on election day. The ballot here in California had 5 nominees for President, and 18 yes 18 I believe Propositions to vote on. I was reading an article yesterday about how most people in California were very confused and did not understand half of what these mean. I consider myself educated and have to admit I had to read over a few of them a couple of times to decide which way to vote.
Unfortunately, I live in one of the only areas of California that is very Pro-Bush secondary to our large Hispanic population and their huge Catholic upbringing that prevents them from ever voting for a party or person that supports Pro-Choice. I've had many arguments with people out here regarding the fact there are SO many issues but it doesn't seem to matter to them. So unlike you Jay- my neighborhood is filled with Bush Cheney signs by about 100 to 1- disappointing to me because if the population of people that live here- the majority being lower class and underserved- really looked at the issues of what would better them- I strongly believe their views would sway the other way.
I wonder what the difference in this election would be if two issues were different or simply not an issue- abortion and gay marriage? I think there'd be quite the difference- at least here in little ol' evangelical christian Visalia!

November 02 2004

The full list.

November 02 2004

Where does Lyndon LaRouche fit into all of those? Or is he somebody only people in Illinois know about?

November 02 2004

I thought he died.

November 02 2004

Apparently not. He's a Democrat...of sorts.

November 02 2004

I don't think so.

And he's running for president...again, so I can only assume he's alive. Google his name and you'll see his 2004 campaign site at the top of the search results.

I've never understood what the hell he's all about. My family always referred to him as "a wacko." When I pressed for more information, I was told he was "a nut."

November 02 2004

Right. I found his website. Apparently, he's dropped out of the election this year.

I think he has held a lot of very odd positions in the past. For example, he claimed (and not rhetorically, I don't think) that Queen Elizabeth is "a drug pusher" and that Henry Kissinger is clearly a Soviet spy.

November 02 2004

I understand that with CO changing, and all other states staying the same, the power goes from winning 9 electoral votes to basically 1 (you get 5, the other guy gets 4). However, it takes one state to revise their policies for others to follow; you can't have a federal mandate due to constitutional limitations on feds power over the states.

Yes, it would change how candidates campaign and how campaigns are run -- but I think they should be changed. And perhaps it will take 2-3 Presidential elections to do so, but that's fine by me.

I'm unclear on why you don't have more attention in IL with 21 electoral it b/c everyone knows what way it will vote?

I guess the bottom line is: do you let the current policies dictate your beliefs in how voting should count? Should the states follow the campaign dollars, or should the campaign follow individual rights.

I understand your 'cons' to the amendment -- they are the big reason why the amendment probably will not pass: it weakens CO as an influence in elections unless the others change as well. However, I believe in the 'pros' to the amendment, and think all states should from a website explaining the amendments:

1) This proposal makes Colorado's electoral vote more accurately reflect the statewide vote. Under the current winner-take-all system, one candidate automatically gets all of the state's electoral votes, even if he or she doesn't win a majority of votes on Election Day. Instead, Colorado's electoral votes should reflect all candidates who have widespread support, not just the candidate who gets as few as one more vote than another.

2) This proposal may motivate more people to vote because the votes of more Coloradoans will be represented in the Electoral College. Under the current system, eligible citizens may not bother to participate in elections if they believe that their vote will have no impact on the outcome, especially voters not affiliated with a political party. The proposal may also encourage minor-party candidates to pay more attention to Colorado issues, in hopes of winning an electoral vote.

This seems to be good policy for those reasons above for all states. I guess it's a matter of following the current system or making change - putting your vote where your beliefs are, and to me: that's what voting is about.

November 02 2004

With that math, it seems plausible that Colorado could become completely worthless in the eyes of presidential campaign planners. It's not hard to imagine a situation in which the Republicans get 4 the Democrats get 4 and somebody like Nader gets 1. That's assuming that Colorado is ideologically split right down the middle like that, with little room for any one side to move in either direction. It seems like that now, but maybe it wouldn't always be that way.

But I'm not sure that really matters because it just means that the campaigns won't work hard in that state. It doesn't mean the votes themselves are worthless. In fact, the individual's vote would be worth more, for the reasons you mention. In this era of constant media coverage of the election, do people really need the Presidential candidates to come to their state in order to care about that election?

Perhaps there is a better way to get consensus among the states than to go to this system, but I'm not sure what that would be. Maybe the only way is for there to be such a groundswell of popular support for this move that any state that doesn't do it this way will consider itself behind the times.

November 02 2004

Agree that it would change how the campaigns are run. My point is that it doesn't make complete sense to look _back_ on an election and point to a popular vote result that wasn't the primary goal of the campaign.

Illinois gets no attention b/c everyone knows it is a dark blue state. Same with California and New York. The 21 votes of Illinois are already in Kerry's pocket.

I think we're on the same page with the pros and cons. Living in Colorado, what have you heard from those around you regarding the amendment?

November 02 2004

btw, I think my host also hosts several big political blogs and is getting hammered with traffic today. If you've had trouble getting to my site, you're not alone.

November 02 2004

Just to be clear: my interest in this amendment has little to do with 2000. I would want this change regardless of other past elections, as I feel it's a fairer way of reflecting people's choices (for the previously stated reasons). But I do get campaign goals & your point about that.

It's my sense that people that are concerned about CO's impact on future elections (i.e. politicians, power-focused individuals/professionals, people not concerned with the current system or making this type of change) are really against the amendment. And those more concerned with indivdual rights, voting reflection, and campaign reform lean towards having the amendment. But those against the amendment are REALLY against it, whereas those that are for the amendment are more like, "hey, sounds like a great idea and it's logical. okay".

Alot of people are persuaded by the 1 electoral vote argument, but I like the bigger picture. If all states had this split, IL would get more attention than knowing that it'll be blue automatically. Candidates would be fighting for those 2-3 electoral votes in each state...every 4-5% would make a difference. YOUR VOTE WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE - and that's what we're always told.

November 02 2004

That's definitely true, the election would have turned out differently. It likely would have been an easy victory for Gore, I think.

In case it hasn't already been pointed out, I should mention that the winner-takes-all structure is only part of the problem with the electoral college. The other is that, because the number of votes a state gets is based on the number of house seats plus the two senate seats, the small states with three votes are overrepresented compared to places like New York and Pennsylvania.

This, of course, benefits the Republicans as most of these small states are overwhelmingly Republican.

Furthermore, over a quarter of the states are overrepresented in this way, so a constitutional ammendment rectifying this problem is unlikely to ever happen.

November 02 2004

Just came back from the polls... and I voted for Steve.

Just kidding. I voted a week ago. Oregon is entirely vote-by-mail. Unless you can't get the ballot postmarked in time, in which case you can drop it off. Convenient, but I found myself suffering a little wave of paranoia about what a right-wing (and/or stupid) mail carrier could do to an entire neighborhood's ballots on his route. And my neighborhood, like most of Portland, is pretty strongly for Kerry. Much of the rest of this state is sort of rednecky and under George W's spell; despite Portland's reputation Oregon is the least liberal state on the west coast. But Kerry will still probably take it.

November 02 2004

voting out here in the 'burbs was eazy breazy. quicker than getting a coffee at the drive thru.

November 02 2004

At 11 PM on election night, I'd like to officially thank the American people for voting, in majority, for our sitting president, George W. Bush. Way to validate the administration's failures in Iraq, your apathy towards his lies to the American people, and the blatant disregard for our environment.

I hope his plans for getting us to Mars are successful in the near term. We'll need somewhere new to shit.

Bitter much? Uh-huh.

November 03 2004

The forces of ignorance and fear have prevailed, again.

We'll just have to keep on fighting.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz