Tuesday, November 8, 2016

whole lotta voting going on

Both statistics and anecdotes are reporting large turnouts in today's US elections. I can add my mite to that. I went down to the neighborhood polling place about 9:30 AM. Usually the morning commuter rush is gone by then, and there's one or two other voters around, if that. Not this time. Three people already in the booths, one ahead of me in line, and two more behind me by the time they were done with that guy. It's not a long line by any means, but it's lot more than I've seen before.

This despite the long ballot. We vote here with pen markings on bedsheet-sized pieces of paperboard, and this year there were three of them, all two-sided. There were 3 federal offices, 2 state legislative ones (the state executive offices come up in two years), 7 school board seats (and weren't those hard to get real information about), 4 city council seats, 17 state propositions, and 4 local ones. That comes to as many votes as there are Shakespeare plays.

The official at the counter struggled to tear the receipt stubs off all three ballot sheets at once, slid them with fair versatility out of the protective sheath into a zipper slot in the big orange canvas rucksack that serves as a ballot box, handed me the stubs and an "I Voted" sticker, and off I went.

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