November 04, 2008
The deed is done
Alright, so I left the polling station at 9:50 a.m. which means that a) I'm really late for work, and b) it took me 1.5 hours to get through the line.
Which is crazy because D.C. has tons of polling stations. Guess they're going to have to open up another one in Columbia Heights for the next elections.
It was crowded inside especially when someone with a stroller or in a wheelchair would walk up to the front of the line. They had my name on the list (big relief) and I picked up my voting card.
It's pretty simple to vote in D.C. All you have to do is connect the arrow next to your preferred candidate. The stations were flimsy and you couldn't lean on the table-tops too much or they would collapse.
A lot of people commented on the lack of privacy - imagine a round table, intersected into 4, with short walls (like a pizza with 4 equal parts). Anyone could walk right behind me and see my ballot.
I didn't care, but I could see why some would be bothered by it. Then you place your ballot in a white folder to hide it, and take it out again to slip it into an electronic machine that counts it immediately. Again, there's not much privacy as the ballots are huge and the machine slot pretty small so you have to carefully feed the ballot into it, leaving your fellow voters ample time to peak over.
I asked a voting official if my vote for the presidential candidate would be invalidated if I didn't vote for the other positions. Much to my relief, she said no. Thank God, because I really don't know the other names. I was also suprised to see two other Presidential-Vice-Presidential teams in addition to Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin on the ballot. I have no idea who they are.