Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Problems

I got to the polling place at about about 11:30. There was no line. I walked right in and met an old lady who had no business running voter check-in. My first problem came when she didn't recognize that the spelled out middle name in the book could match the initial on my drivers license. After that, she noticed that my address didn't match the book. I moved this year, so that makes sense. The state does not require the address to match but she did not know that. An election judge was called over so she could ask him if I was allowed to vote. He said that I was. He walked away while she began filling out the necessary paper work for me to get a ballot.

At that point, the next problem occurred. I asked for a paper ballot. She was unaware that you can request this, even though it has been allowed for several years and poll worker training must be re-taken every Presidential election. She asked if I wanted a provisional ballot. I told her that I want the real ballot that the state says I can have. Again, she called the judge over. He pointed to the slip that tells why I am using a paper ballot. The first option is, "Voter requested a paper ballot."

I went to the person who passed out the ballots. She handed me the three pages and an envelope. You are supposed to put the ballot in the envelope and seal it. The problem here is that the ballot is about an inch too long to fit. It has to be folded to fit inside. It will be counted on an optical scan machine, so the fold worries me. All those ballots have to be unfolded to be counted, adding to the counting time.

Before I sat down to fill out my ballot, I noticed that the poll judge who said I could vote was talking on his cell phone while sitting at a voting booth. Maybe the rules are different for poll workers, but phone use is prohibited inside a polling place. Sure, they weren't busy, but it seems wrong to be using a voting booth as a phone booth.

Is it too much to ask for a smooth, properly functioning election? Can't we disqualify poll workers who can't remember the rules they learned last week on training day? We've been voting for over 200 years in Ohio. Some states have been doing it for almost 400 years. Why can't we get it right?


ShadowFace said...

My address didn't match either, and the poll worker said I had to use a provisional ballot. I said that you telling me I have to use that inplies you are questioning my legal validity to vote in this precinct. i also had the info from BMV showing my address changed from ym license. I called the precinct officer over and she gave me the paper ballot. After I filled out the paper ballot, I was asked to fold it along specific lines and put it in what looked like an orange packpack with a zipper.

Sigh...I filled in the bubble for Barr, but who knows what it'll register as? So long as my vote against the taxes and my vote for Linnaberry is counted, I guess I'll settle.

Robert Grimm said...

Sounds like you have a valid complaint. Brunner said an Ohio ID was enough as long as you name is in the book. The address does not have to be correct on the ID.

ShadowFace said...

The officer took care of it. As long as they note down the Driver's license number in the reg book, it satisfies Ohio law. they had a copy of ORC there, which was nice. the precinct officer apologized and gave me the paper ballot.