Tuesday, November 2, 2004

I VOTED AT 6:08 AM. I just returned from voting in Wayne Township Precinct #81 at McClelland Elementary School. I was there before 6:00 am and there were 25 people ahead of me and a longer line by the time I marked my ballot. I talked to some neighbors and two parishioners. All four of my children have attended McClelland, which is within walking distance of our house. Having voted at McClelland in every municipal, primary, and major election for 10 years, I am familiar with the place and people who volunteer at the polls.

PAPER BALLOT. Instead of a voting machine, as in all past elections at the McClelland polling place, I marked a paper ballot and then submitted it into a fax-type machine. I didn't see if it was manufactured by "Diebold."

REINTRODUCING HUMAN ERROR. For the first time I can recall, I wondered whether or not my mark on the ballot was correct, whether my vote would be rejected if I marked outside the lines of the little oval at all or if I didn't mark it dark enough. I wondered about people with unsteady hands--would their ballot be validated? Seems like we've gone backward; we've reintroduced a factor of human error at our polling place that wasn't there in 2000.

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