Votus Interruptus


After discovering that my polling place is at my daughter's elementary school, just a few blocks from here, I dropped by this morning, only to be deterred by a neighbor's report that the wait was 50 minutes. "It's not worth it," I muttered, turning back toward my car. "Maybe your vote isn't," she said, in what was possibly a sly reference to my Libertarian leanings. (I'm sure her vote for Kerry will make the difference between a decisive win for Bush in Virginia and a decisive win for Bush in Virginia.) I may try again this afternoon, although I have a feeling my registration didn't take. I sent in the requisite paperwork at least a week before the deadline, but I never received the "voter information card" to which my county's Web site refers. If there's anything more pointless than waiting 50 minutes to vote against Bush in Virginia, it's waiting 50 minutes to find out you're ineligible to vote.


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  1. I know it’s none of our business, but why weren’t you already registered?

  2. Jacob,
    I didn’t get my card either when I registered, but when I went to the polls my name was in the book. Give it a shot.

  3. SR: We moved to Virginia a few years ago; the last place I voted was in New York.

  4. Jacob, yes, based on your articles I thought you had lived in Virginia for awhile. That was why I was surprised that you weren’t registered. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

  5. Except there’s no such thing as “ineligible to vote” anymore. That’s the beauty of provisional ballots…everyone can vote, and it’s up to the election commissioners to “disenfranchise” the ineligible voters later. Perfect setup for legal challenges in close contests.

  6. 50 minutes? I wish! I had to wait for 90 minutes in Alexandria, VA, and the line was twice as long when I was leaving as when I’d arrived. No one seemed to mind though. Oh, and everyone I spoke to was there to vote for Kerry.

  7. Yeah cb, ditto here. 2.5 hour wait here in rainy Ohio – luckily my polling place is in a school with long hallways so the line was inside. A friends polling place is in “The Andersons General Store”. The upside to that is I guess he can CCW to vote since it’s not in a school. 😛

    Anyway, everyone I heard speak in line was either loudly making bigoted pro-Issue 1 (an Ohio Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage) comments to those nearby in line or rather openly voting for Kerry. One guy had a Kerry button on – I was told by someone whose mom is a Republican “challenger” that this is not permitted in polling places. When I saw video of Kerry’s daughter voting on MSNBC she had a rather prominent pro-Kerry sticker on her sleeve.

    If voter turnout in urban Ohio is any measure, Kerry has it by a landslide. Most of Ohio is not urban though, so who knows.

  8. I waited 40 minutes to get a chicken sandwich at Ozzfest, and it didn’t have lettuce, tomato, condiments or anything; it was literally a chicken cutlet slipped into a dry roll. Whatever the wait is when I get to the polls tonight in NJ, it’ll be worth at least as much as that.

  9. Wow, that’s pathetic.

  10. Virginia is actually moderately close. Go out and vote.

  11. Am I the only person who’s heard of the “Absantee Ballot”? I voted two weeks ago, which gave me plenty of time to savor the ads and phone-spam.

  12. Voting took a little over an hour this morning in a northwestern suburb of St. Louis. Polls open at 6 a.m.; I was told people started lining up outside at 5:15 a.m.

  13. Weird. I went to vote at lunch; the line was about 1 minute long. Maybe California just has more polling places open?

  14. That actually jibes with anecdotal testimony from a co-worker here: The polls were packed this morning, but almost no one was there at lunchtime. I guess everyone wanted to get it out of the way as early as possible. (Unless they’re waiting until after work.)

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