I and my roommate went to the polls at 5:30 this morning, and there was already a line of about 20 people or so. By the time the voting opened at 6am, the line was about 100-200 people in length, and there was no room for cars. In fact, I can definitely say that voting at the Cure of Ars is going to be a problem today, and not just because the street to the place, Laclede Station Rd, will be closed from 10-1.
But, I’m done. I was prepared, though thankfully I brought all my various IDs today, because I was mistaken on what was acceptable. Actually, my bad, but I had a backup. I also thought I picked paper voting, but had the computer slip, which ended up being the longer line. Again, my bad, as I checked the wrong box. It was 6am.
This was my first time using the computer, and it was actually quite nice—created a paper trail that you could check as you voted. These machines are taking over, eventually we’re going to have to start trusting them. Besides, I had the computer slip, not the paper slip. Mustn’t screw with the slips. Democracy as we know it will fall if we screw around with the slips.
But I’m done. Done. Done. Done.
Now comes the waiting.
I miss the mechanical voting booths, where you pulled a lever and it closed a curtain. You flipped switches next to names, and when you were done, pulled another level that tallied your vote and opened the curtain.
Once that curtain was closed, the rest of the world was shut out. It was just you, the machine, the switches, and your vote. When you voted at one of these machines, you felt like you were participating in a ritual, not a pop quiz. There was something very satisfying at that moment when you pulled the lever the second time, and heard all the mechanical switching going on behind you, as the curtain swooshed open, readying the box for the next participant.
Now, you push a confirm button, and screen goes blue (an ominous color), and that’s it—move your butt, let someone else in.
And I didn’t even get an “I voted” sticker.