The Wife and I just finished voting over my lunch break. I was the 317th person to vote in our precinct, which isn’t half bad considering there are only 2000 people in our town and the eligible voters are split across two precincts. No lines, just walked up, they verified my address, someone else verified my signature, and I was handed my ballot. Only waiting I had to do was for the Wife to finish so she could keep an eye on the Little Bird while I voted.
I’m glad we don’t have to deal with touchscreens here. I hear way too many nightmares about improperly calibrated electronic voting machines, and I just don’t trust e-voting yet. Our county is using the old-fashioned, fill-in-the-bubble paper ballots. They take a little longer to fill out because of the ovals that have to be filled in, but they’re simple to use and easy to read. Tampering would have to come from the whole precinct of judges, judging by the roll of paper tape signed by several officials and taped to the tabulating machine. My ballot is my paper trail,whether or not I have it in hand, and there’s no problem down the road of misinterpreting hanging chads.
As for the votes themselves, I stuck to my guns and voted Barr. The Wife and I may very well be the only two Barr votes in the precinct — maybe even the county — but that’s fine. That’s what the process is about, as far as I’m concerned. Then we both chose independent parties for as many seats as we could; everything local only had Republicans running, which gives you a good picture of our county. I also voted yes to recommend our legislature write a concealed carry firearms law, and no to our state setting up a new Constitutional Convention.
This next bit will probably only be of interest to Illinois citizens. I’ve heard via Twitter that some folks heard on the news that there was a handout to go with the Constitutional Convention ballot item, replacing the wording that appears on the ballot itself. At least two people said they didn’t get that handout. Our precinct did have it: they posted it inside each polling booth and they also handed every voter a laminated copy which was turned in when the ballot was placed in the machine. For those wondering, it wasn’t a drastic change. I read the original wording out of curiosity, and it explains that the vote in 1988 was shot down by a margin of 75% against to 25% in favor. I’m guessing they didn’t want that to influence the vote, but the handout also mentioned “inaccuracies” so maybe those numbers were off. Either way, in my opinion there’s nothing that can’t be changed through the current legislative process, and our state budget is already screwed up enough that we don’t need to be spending the money on the Constitutional Convention. It’s good to have the right to vote on rewriting the State Constitution every 20 years, but I don’t think it needs to be exercised at this time. Your mileage may vary.
Now I’m wearing my “I Voted” sticker around the school, as are all the teachers who have voted so far. It’s important to set that example for the students. There are enough adult voters who don’t bother, so we best start motivating the next generation before it’s too late.