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Tuesday, March 5

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R / February 6, 2008 2:21 PM

There were a group of people outside the voting stations trying to give me a grocery list of people to vote for (that's annoying).

When I got to the voting area, the half-sheet of paper I had to sign in with had accidentally been signed by someone whose name is similar to mine. Other than that, it was super smooth.

Hey Fred D. / February 6, 2008 2:43 PM

The guy who handled the filled-out ballots has a pretty decent case of B.O. Does that count?

Andrew / February 6, 2008 3:10 PM

Pretty simple for me -- and nobody was out front shilling for a candidate, which was refreshing.

They insisted on seeing my ID -- more so they got the spelling right, I think. It took awhile for them to find my page in the book.

Carrie / February 6, 2008 3:14 PM

It was great! No one was there when I got there, they found my name right away in the book and one of the judges was really friendly and all trying to show me how to use the machine. I decided to keep it old school and connect the arrow for my candidates. I also smiled the whole time because I think it's really great that my personal top two choices were a woman and an african-american.

Spook / February 6, 2008 3:21 PM

Nope, just having to shoulder pass the gang bangers hired to pass out our local ward bosse's candadite selections, and deal with the same sad election judges trapped in a world were it makes economic sense to work from 4:30am to 7:30pm for 100 bucks( and a chicken lunch) as an "election judge" or "poll watcher"
in the basement of a dank "community organization"

But I was proud that for the first time I remembered to bring my "" recommendations for all judges up for retention and election.

So sorry, if you were not recommened by the Blacks, browns, women, and the queers, you were not getting my vote!

I always felt guilty not knowing what judges to vote for and which ones not to vote for. It took me a while to navigate the list. I felt proud and rewarded myself with a few cold ones at my local public house!

vanessa / February 6, 2008 3:26 PM

Not only did I vote, I was a judge. And there were no problems in my precinct at all. In fact, my precinct was done with transmitting results by 7:30. It was weird how well it worked out.

Spook / February 6, 2008 3:34 PM

Vanessa, Hope you didn't think I meant all judges

just the regular judges in my precinct


Carrie / February 6, 2008 3:55 PM

Spook- I remembered my paper with judges I was going to vote for, too! It was also my first time to remember the dang thing and it was great. Finally, I wasn't completely lost.

Kevin / February 6, 2008 4:36 PM

My polling place's floors were like a skating rink with the rain. That was the only issue

mike / February 6, 2008 4:54 PM

Voted in the a.m. and everything was fine. Took three minutes, no line. 48th Ward, 30th Pct., Edgewater Library.

My friends and I met the night before to drink beers and wrap our brains around all the local stuff that's difficult to be informed about. I highly recommend doing this for all the Cook County and IL stuff. I only have a cell phone, but I found out that my friends with landlines were getting inundated with robot phone calls ... one of my friends got a message from water reclamation candidate Spyroulous that said she supports a woman's right to choose. Hilarious.

adam / February 6, 2008 6:08 PM

Voted in Skokie, in small church around the corner. Decided to use the touchscreen machine, bc it's the kind that creates a paper copy as well. No problems, only one guy outside asking me to vote for the CC Assessor.

Nice to able to have a presidential primary vote count for a change. And I am glad to be part of the party who's going to nominate a historic candidate, although we better freakin' win this time, or I'm going to be pissed at the DNC.

chevy / February 6, 2008 6:38 PM

When I voted toward the end of the precinct closing, everything was business as usual.

Was discussing who I voted for w/my family on the bus and made some comment on the bus about my dad saying he vote for Romney.

Kid (man?) across the aisle on the bus yanks off his soaking wet jacket (mind you, its pouring out) and is wearing a Romney sweatshirt and about 10 Romney buttons. TOTALLY STARTS interrupting my conversation with my mom so I can "tell my dad there is another Romney supporter on the bus" I stopped listening to what else I was supposed to tell Dad....

I think he wanted me to hand him the phone so he could talk to my Dad. Tried to ignore him until I got off the bus, but he just kept talking while I tried to talk to my Mom about something else.

C-Note / February 6, 2008 6:48 PM

Carrie - this is probably the wrong place, but maybe as good as any other. Neither I nor Barack Obama is an African-American until "regular" Americans are "European-Americans" or whatever the fuck. We're black, and we're Americans. We're black Americans. We don't do this hyphenated shit anymore. Unless you want to call us American-Africans. Personally I'm an American first. I've been to Africa, but I'm an American. Doesn't need qualification. It's ironic that being politically correct to save people's feelings actually has the opposite effect. Not your fault.

p / February 6, 2008 7:00 PM

I think it's more ironic C-Note that you're black and the paragraph above sounds like a hillbilly wrote it.

Steven / February 6, 2008 7:27 PM

My candidate dropped out and no one else seemed worth my time, so I stayed home to rest up for the Marilyn Manson concert at the Aragon.

Spook / February 6, 2008 8:22 PM

C Note:

Funny, "The Radio Station of All That is O'Bama"
aka N.P.R. (National White Upper Income Liberal People's Radio" refers to O'Bama as a "man of color"

So perhaps you, Carrie and P in the name of unity should all compromise and refer to O'Bama as a "man of color".

Of course I call him the Corporation Candidate, but don't mind me, I'm just happy that I didn't vote for
a David Duke Judge and neither did Carrie :-)


Steve who was your candidate?

My candadite dropped out too, so I just held my nose and voted for the lessor of many evils, but I am happy that I voted wisely for the judges!

Jill / February 6, 2008 10:53 PM

Vanessa, I was a judge too, and things went pretty smoothly in our precinct (and we all got along really well, which made for a nice day). We took a little more time than you to transmit everything, but it all worked out.

We had a couple of problems with people being assigned to the wrong polling place--they'd live in the right address for our precinct, but we wouldn't have a ballot for them. That was a little frustrating.

And voters, if you've changed your name or address, please go to the library or BMV and get your info fixed ASAP so that you're good to go in November.

charlie / February 7, 2008 8:02 AM

No problem other than they never ask if I want a electronic ballot and needed to ask. I vote electric to avoid "Invisible Ink" ;-) Sorry have been given enough grief in the Blogs. Never you mind them insecure children.

PS Andrew

Ward Committeeman are elected.

Daley's Exploding Wallet / February 7, 2008 8:25 AM

Real smooth except that they did not ID anyone. She just said, "As long as your name is in here...".

Seems like they should be checking ID's...or is that politically incorrect now?

amyc / February 7, 2008 8:53 AM

Uh, yeah, I had some irregularities. What with the invisible ink and all.

Also, some jagoff blogger has now stolen one of my wedding photos off my blog and posted it on his site so that his drooling troglodyte readers now have a face to go with his "America's Dumbest Voter" caption.

It's not even a terribly flattering photo. I should send him a better one.

Hey Fred D. / February 7, 2008 9:31 AM

We're black, and we're Americans. We're black Americans. We don't do this hyphenated shit anymore.

Really? Damn, I musta missed the meeting again...

Matt / February 7, 2008 9:49 AM

Daley's Wallet: Requiring an ID to vote is illegal. Like poll taxes and literacy tests, they can be misused to suppress votes. Know what else is illegal? Stumping for a candidate outside a polling station. I hope that those of you who encounter them again in November and beyond loudly tell them where to go, as I did on Tuesday.

porgy / February 7, 2008 10:20 AM

....had no problem voting
any of my three times..

aka woman of no color

porgy / February 7, 2008 10:31 AM

...hey Fred...
what meeting did you miss??

*African Americans Anonymous

Hal / February 7, 2008 10:50 AM

No problems, really. But I was really annoyed at the jack-off who demanded to know, as I walked in, "East or west side of Paulina?"

When I just looked at him, because, fuck, it's 6:30am and I don't have the patience for geography games, he said, "Everyone just gives me the deer-in-the-headlights look when I ask that." Well, you know, maybe that's a clue that it's not a good question. Asshole.

I know what goddamned precinct I'm in and there are plenty of signs in the place directing me if I didn't. If that fails too, then let me ask you for the info.

But except for that guy, everyone there seemed to be a ton more competant than the pieces of shit I had to deal with in Uptown (trying to take and read ballots before they went into the counter, literally unable to read to look up names, non-stop screaming in the polling place, etc).

Andrew / February 7, 2008 10:59 AM

@Charlie: I know -- "state elected" modified judges, not committeemen.

Mikey / February 7, 2008 11:27 AM

No problems whatsoever--in and out in under 5 minutes (insert 'that's what she said' joke here). Even better, since moving within the last year, my new polling place is only a block away...

@C-Note: I whole-heartedly agree with you--I too think it's time to drop the whole "politically correct" African-American nonsense. Furthermore, doesn't the term become even more off-putting when liberally applied to people who are in fact of Jamaican, Haitian, etc. descent?

karen / February 7, 2008 11:38 AM

there was a guy handing out poorly-designed business cards asking for my vote directly outside my polling place. when i got inside, a chicago police officer was making a big stink to the poll workers, over if they put out the cones keeping vote-seekers away from the polling place. the cones were out there, but the dude outside just wasnt following the rules.

anyways... once i requested my democratic ballot, the poll-worker standing behind me practically screamed "democratic!?!?!", like she couldnt believe i'd vote that way. it was very bizarre.

here's hoping i dont appear to be a republican...

charlie / February 7, 2008 11:49 AM

@Charlie: I know -- "state elected" modified judges, not committeemen.

Oh I see my error.

I not so sharp.

Anyway who would wanaa be a Ward Committeeman anyway?


Dunl / February 7, 2008 12:26 PM

They asked if I wanted a "Democratic" or "Republican" ballot. "Isn't there also an option to vote in the Green primary?" I asked. This confused them slightly. They established that there was indeed a Green option. (I went with the Democratic ballot, but it seemed people should know their options.)

Val / February 7, 2008 1:36 PM

I was the 6th to vote in my polling station... aprox. 6:15a.m.

I asked for a Democratic ballot and the man said, "A What? Repubican?" and tried to hand me the Replubican ballot. I said, "No. Democratic." He chuckled and said, "Oh, my mistake."

I was disturbed by the whole interaction.

Dunl: They were calling the Green Ballot the 'non-partisan' ballot in my polling place. Wha!

Ramsin / February 7, 2008 2:13 PM

I have to say, I agree with C-Note. I've never like the phrase "African-American", it does sound contrived, as if its a password that makes whatever you think okay, because of what you say.

Ray / February 7, 2008 2:44 PM

No problems out in the suburban Cook where I vote, but I am reading from Green Party acquaintances that at City of Chicago precincts there seems to have been fairly systematic denials of the existence of Green Party ballots, or refusal to disburse them. It seems to me that the source of the problem was either poor training by the Board of Elections, or widespread petty partisanship on the part of Democratic and Republican election judges.

Note to Spook, unless the campaign is outlandishly well financed, poll watchers are volunteers, not paid. And if you want to make those guys handing out the palm cards uncomfortable, ask them just which city department it is that they work for that gave them the day off, and is it a paid holiday?

Mike / February 7, 2008 3:26 PM

In my polling place they just asked, "democrat or republican?" Then they handed me the paper ballot w/o asking if I wanted electronic. They also did not hand me a privacy sleeve.

J / February 7, 2008 4:01 PM

No problems except for feeling intimidated and uncomfortable by mean looks from the election judges and someone pounding on the desk when I asked for a Republican ballot!!!!

RS / February 7, 2008 4:21 PM

J - I got the same kind of thing.

I asked for a republican ballot, and people in line starting to make rude comments about me...out my face.

And then I got glares and rude comments from the poll workers as well.

Other than that, no big deal.

jj / February 7, 2008 5:15 PM

Hello, another election judge here with a few comments -

Charlie/Mike - Judges are not required to ask which method you want to use, although when we were slow I encouraged people to try the electronic machine since eventually that's probably where things will go. If there was a line, I didn't, because we only had one machine and most people were not interested in waiting. If you want to use a certain method, speak up - that's what I did.

Matt - You are correct about IDs, but incorrect on the other - people are allowed to electioneer outside of the polling place, as long as they stay 100 feet away from the door (marked by the blue cones). If they violate that, judges are supposed to try and enforce it, which involves calling a bunch of numbers where no one answers then going outside and yelling at them which only works for five minutes.

Hal - Good for you for knowing your correct precinct, but 90% of the people in my polling place did not. I asked them which precinct, they look at me blankly, so I started asking "north or south of X street". Since you went at 6:30am, there was probably a big morning rush, and they were trying to be helpful. Lots of people, if they have to wait at all, will just leave, so I try to get people in and on their way to the stations as quickly as possible.

Dunl/Val/Ray - Yes, you have the option to vote in the Green Party. However, not one single person in my tree hugging liberal precinct, which I happen to know is full of Greens, asked for it. A few people asked me if they should vote Green, and I showed them the ballot where they could see that there was only one race, Presidential, was contested in the Green Party. There is also a separate non-partisan ballot, which allows you to vote for the referendum only, not for any party race. No one took that one in my precinct either.

To all of you - being an election judge sucks. It's a thankless job, many of the other judges are so old or ill informed they are barely competant, and everyone comes in assuming you are trying to screw them out of their vote. You're sleep deprived from getting up at 4am, tired from setting up heavy equipment, you're spending the entire day fighting with campaign volunteers being to close to the door, fellow judges who don't know what they are doing, states attorney inspectors who are watching you like you're Dick Cheney himself but can't actually answer any questions you have, and people who are refusing to go to the right precinct or correct their name or address. Every single time, I say, I'm not doing this again.

However, you get to protect people's right to vote and keep the proceess of democracy going, which is something. So, if you had problems this time, you see what I am talking about here, please sign up and become an election judge. We need you. Really. ChicagoElections dot com has the form online. I beg of you, please!

Also - make sure you're squared away for November with your registration and ID matching your permanent address, or don't come whining to me when you can't vote. It's not like our generation had to fight the war of independence or march in the streets for the right to vote - all you have to do is get your address right on a form, and if you can't handle that then maybe you should reflect upon voting.

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