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Friday, September 22

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Andrew / November 2, 2008 11:46 PM

The actual election, I mean -- early voting, Tuesday's election, etc.

Let us know how your voting experience goes (or went, for those who voted early).

Irisheyes1212 / November 3, 2008 7:06 AM

I voted early on 10/29 at Wright College. It was about a 45 minute wait, but it went really smooth. The staff had tight control on the crowd and I think they did a great job. I was a little surprised at the people that would come in and see the crowd, then leave. I mean, are they just planning to not bother because they might have to wait? We're all busy, geez.

Dubi / November 3, 2008 7:36 AM

If I could play the trumpet I'd be standing outside a polling place playing Aaron Copland's 'Fanfare for the Common Man'.

tk / November 3, 2008 9:11 AM

Play on, Dubi!

I voted last Tuesday, at the North Park Village community center. In some ways, it was great - every booth full, and about a 15-minute wait. However, a new concern was raised: there were 10 booths, all electronic, and at any given time, at least one was experiencing difficulties. This was my first experience with electronic voting, and I found it pretty non-intuitive (at first it's fine, but if you have to change anything, or if you missed anything, it gets pretty confusing). And I'm pretty "tech savvy..." So what happens tomorrow when a lot of people show up after work for the biggest election in whenever, the machines aren't working (or people aren't getting them), it's 7:00, and they're looking at a 2-hour wait? Will they stick it out, or go home?

(clearly, any little thing is throwing me into a panic just now)

Spence / November 3, 2008 9:43 AM

I'm planning on getting up and in line at 6am. The polling place is literally right out my front door. Hoping that I beat the crowds, but I'll bet a lot of people will be wanting to beat the crowds. I'm not 100% sure why I didn't vote early, but I think I wanted to take part in the excitement of the actual election day. I'll report back tomorrow morning.

Hal / November 3, 2008 9:50 AM

I know that I wanted to take part in the excitement of the actual election day. Being such a Blue state, I'm not worried about the risk that I may not get to vote due to lines, machines, whatever. Since my vote won't "count," I at least want it to have personal significance.

Also, I always get to the polls very early, so if there's a problem, there's plenty of time to take care of it.

newb / November 3, 2008 10:02 AM

this is my first voting experience, at 33 no less. i don't know what to expect but am looking forward to it.

Greg / November 3, 2008 10:21 AM

I don't ever remember the lines at my polling place as particularly long, so I'm hoping all the early voting will keep them the same or thinner.

I'm most worried about my mom's races in MN. Not only is Franken in a tight race, but her rep? Crazy-ass Michelle "Tailgunner Joe" Bachmann. Oy.

Gaigen / November 3, 2008 11:54 AM

Finally voting in my CORRECT ward after failing to get off my ass and update my voter registration information. I always thought I'd get busted when giving my old address even though I'd moved and was in a different precinct (the old place and the new place are only blocks from each other so it wasn't like it involved any driving). Anyway, waiting until the actual, official day to vote to make it all, you know, official and shit.

Cheryl / November 3, 2008 12:49 PM

Voted the second day we could--the first day was Columbus Day, I think some people still get that off. I had to wait maybe 5 minutes, but the people working were still in shock at the lines they'd had the day before.

I'm an election judge tomorrow. I have to get up at 4:30 (polling place is literally across the street, I can shower and dress and still be there on time). We were told at training to expect to be there until 9 or 10 tomorrow night.

Carlotta / November 3, 2008 1:00 PM

I voted last Wedensday at an early voting site in my neighborhood and it took slightly over two hours from the time I got in line (which snaked through the small library onto the outside sidewalk) until I cast my ballot. It shouldn't be as bad on Tuesday, as people will have to go to their local polling place.

It was an interesting experience to vote electronically. They do NOT have any demonstrator voting machines so you can go through the procedure, as they did when the "butterfly ballot" was used where holes were punched into a card.

Big hint: DO NOT PERSONALLY REMOVE THE CARD FROM THE MACHINE WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED VOTING, the machine will eventually spit it out when you signal you're through. If you personally remove the card it'll erase all of your choices and you'll have to re-enter all of your choices.

Eamon / November 3, 2008 1:56 PM

I voted early on Thursday. Two-and-a-half-hour wait, and no option of optical vs. touchscreen-- I would have strongly preferred the former. Went surprisingly smoothly, though.

caitlin / November 3, 2008 2:54 PM

Absentee in Ohio!!

I did find the absentee ballot interesting, particularly the order in which the candidates are listed. Barack Obama and Joe Biden were second to last on the list, kinda tucked in there between the Socialists and some other party, with seemingly no system to the ballot's order. Gotta wonder...

eee / November 3, 2008 4:30 PM

I'm voting before work tomorrow morning. This will be my first big election since moving to the far west suburbs. I'm interested to see if there will be huge lines. Strangely, I'm excited about standing in line for it. It will make me feel more like I'm actually participating in the democratic process if it's not just in-and-out.

Mike / November 3, 2008 4:47 PM

Irisheyes, at a lot of polling places, the last-minute early voters had longer waits than what people will experience on Tuesday. That may have been why people left. If I could do it over, I'd have waited to vote tomorrow instead of losing two hours last Thursday. I've voted here in Chicago for ten years and never had to wait more than 15 minutes. That said, at least it hasn't been like California, where I heard there were five-hour lines. Crazy.

jennifer / November 3, 2008 8:07 PM

I am waiting until tomorrow to vote. I'm slightly concerned about a long wait, so I'm getting up early-ish and hoping to avoid too much line madness. this will be the first time that I vote for president in person, as I was overseas in 2000 and 2004 and had to vote via absentee ballot.

hoping for the best and looking forward to not being nervous and anxious tomorrow night.

newb (again) / November 3, 2008 10:59 PM

amazing - i get to vote tomorrow for the first time. thought i'd feel jaded by now. but i don't. i hope there are a bunch of people like me. (all the people i know are like me, hope they're all voting as well.)

it was impossible to vote for john kerry. it was even impossible for me to vote for clinton. twice.

i appreciate the fact that my vote still doesn't count, but i decided to vote anyhow. that's a watershead moment for me.

flange / November 3, 2008 11:44 PM

my first chicago voting experience was about a decade ago. i went to get my state id having moved here a few months before. a city election had come and gone.

the woman behind the counter asked me if i'd ever voted in chicago. i told her no. she typed in my name. then she corrected me: i had voted in that recent city election.

my landlord's best friend was the ward boss. of course i'd voted.

while i no longer have that landlord, i assume the city has extended me the same courtesy this time as well.

jima / November 4, 2008 8:50 AM

Voting went okay for me this morning. I got there at 6:05, and there was already a line of 30-40 people! It took me about 45 minutes to get through and cast my vote. No invisible ink problems this time around, thank goodness.

Gaigen / November 4, 2008 8:58 AM

YAY! VOTED! It wasn't that bad. Got in and saw a HUGE line, but all of a sudden a woman said everyone from XX precinct can move up because there were no lines waiting for that precinct. Used the electronic voting machine so I was a little hesitant, but went OK.

spence / November 4, 2008 9:09 AM

Got to the polling place by 6:05 and there was already a line out the door. It took me about 45 minutes to get through and vote. I tried to use the electronic voting machine but the volunteer worker couldn't activate the card, so I went with the paper ballot. There was some confusion by some folks as to where to submit their ballots. People were submitting to the wrong precinct machine and getting "defective ballot" errors. The volunteers didn't know what was wrong until someone in line pointed out that they may be at the wrong precinct machine. I found that a bit unsettling.

spence / November 4, 2008 9:17 AM

by volunteers, I mean precinct workers. Do they get paid?

eee / November 4, 2008 9:22 AM

No problems out in the burbs. Got to the polling place by 7:30, and was out by 7:40. I'd say the booths were about 75% full, with a constant stream going in and out. They had electronic and paper ballots, but since the electronic booths were full we were given the paper ballots. Now I just have to sit back and wait.

Alison / November 4, 2008 9:25 AM

I went at about 7:30 and there was about a 15-minute wait. For some reason, they didn't have my name in the precinct book (but I had my registration card and everything). I had to cast a provisional vote. Lame.

Carrie / November 4, 2008 9:44 AM

I got to my polling place around 815. There was a bit of a line, but I didn't care. Then I got news that 2 precints were voting there and mine had a super short line. I was in and out in about 15 minutes. I almost cried in line, but no one else was getting weepy so I controlled myself... I did smile while connecting the arrow though (no electronic machines at my place).

Emily / November 4, 2008 9:47 AM

According to my polling place, 1/2 of my precinct had voted by 8:45a--1/4 via early voting and 1/4 in 2.5 hours. Awesome! Took 50 minutes to vote this morning, lots of unprepared/incorrectly registered voters holding up the process but everybody was good-natured, esp the workers.

Andrew / November 4, 2008 10:32 AM

Don't forget, we're also covering the election today over in the new Mechanics political section.

CVAL / November 4, 2008 10:51 AM

Voted via absentee ballot from here in London. www.votefromabroad.org.

OBAMA08

mary / November 4, 2008 11:26 AM

my voting poll is also literally across the street. i normally dont get out of bed until about 7, but i got my arse in gear arount 5:45 today (i believe this is one of the very very few instances that is important enough to me to wake up before the sun has risen) and got to the line at 6:15.

The line was out the door, down the street to the end of the corner. I waited outside for maybe 30 minutes, inside the total time was probably about 20 minutes since I was back in my apartment by 7:10.

this was my second time ever voting, first in illinois. i thought the workers were efficient, although inside was a bit confusing since the lines all seemed to run into each other and you couldnt tell where one ended and one began.

mo / November 4, 2008 1:01 PM

Walked up to my polling place and voted right away. No line at all. It was great. But I go to work later in the morning, so I think I missed the pre-office rush.

Lori / November 4, 2008 1:17 PM

I voted. And now I'm sitting around pretty much drumming my fingers and thinking about smoking.

cletus warhol / November 4, 2008 1:31 PM

I rolled into my polling place at noon prepared to wait as long as it took, but it was deserted at that moment and I just breezed through. I suppose if I had been in a hurry then the lines would have been very long (laws of line karma and whatnot).

MT / November 4, 2008 7:50 PM

I voted today around 10 AM and there was absolutely no wait. I was in and out in 10 minutes, but I do have one major complaint...

THERE WERE NO "I VOTED TODAY" STICKERS!

What am I supposed to do with a ballot receipt? Can I stick that on my sweater and prance around proudly? Hmm?

No, no I can't. Boo.

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