Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Voted - And Polling Place Violation Irony

My polling place is the social hall of a Chinese Congregational Church. All week they had "Yes on 8" signs posted all around the building, and I was concerned they might still be there, in violation of the polling place laws, but they were all gone, every last one of them (even though several were on the other side of the building and could legally have stayed up). Kudos to the church for doing the right thing.

However, as I pulled into the driveway, I saw two women standing in the street directly in front of the polling place doors, their parked car hiding them from the view of the poll workers, waving "No on 8" signs. They were close enough to the polling place entrance to be in violation of the law. By the time I voted, they were gone.

It was a few minutes after 9 am, there was no line, and the friendly poll workers efficiently directed me to the right sign-in spot, found my name, signed me in and checked my address against another list. Got my ballot - two sheets of oversized card stock (bigger than legal size, not quite half a broadsheet), was informed each page had items to vote on on both sides, and I should tear off the top stubs before bringing the ballots back, in their card stock "privacy shield".

The reason there was no line is instead of just having four booths set up (the booths were for punchcard voting and really a bit small for these big ballots) they set up four tables, where, if you didn't mind not having total privacy, up to 12 people could vote. I took one of the empty booths, there were 10 people at the table and three at booths (counting me). Without the tables there would have been a long line.

All the poll workers were friendly and gave the impression they wanted to be there, which is a nice change from the usual gang. One was a high school student, the rest ranged from retirement age down to late 30's.

There was a lot to vote on: President, congresscritter, state assembly, state senate, Mountain View city council, school district, county superior court judge, county board of ed, 12 state propositions, 4 county items including a BART extension. I'd pre-filled my sample ballot, but it still took about 5 minutes to connect the arrows on the real ballot. I'm surprised we had paper ballots, we were supposed to have electronic voting at this location, and the machines we used were not on the hackable list, as far as I know. Maybe they didn't have enough machines for the expected turn-out.

It's a secret ballot, I won't say how I voted, but will say it was a tough decision on the Presidential race and a couple of the state and local propositions. I only used 3 out of my 4 votes for city council, because I didn't think there were four people on that list who deserved to be on the council next year.

If you haven't voted yet, and are qualified to, please make the effort.

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