My roommate and I woke up early today to get to the polls before work. When we got to our polling place, a local firehouse, at just after 8 am, there was already a line halfway down the block. By the time we entered to vote nearly an hour later, the line had gone down the entire block and turned the corner up the next street! Luckily, we had warm enough weather, and pleasant companions in the other voters on line. One mother had brought her young daughter, who was very excited to be there to see her mom vote. There were a few people standing out with signs for our state legislative race, and one independent poll-watcher with information and phone numbers in case anyone had any problems.
Everything went smoothly in terms of the actual voting. We're in a new apartment, so we were both new voters in the precinct, and we'd brought ID and our letters stating our registration addresses had been updated, but didn't need them. Our area of Massachusetts uses an optical scan system, which means we filled in arrows on ballot cards, and then fed the cards into the optical scan machine ourselves. Should the machine malfunction, we know our ballot cards are a paper trail. I actually trust this system more than I trust mose other voting systems I've heard about.
I already know not everyone's been this lucky - part of why I started this community. One friend in NY discovered just yesterday that her registration, submitted at the DMV, was never recorded. She filed a provisional ballot today but has no idea if it'll be counted. Another had to file a provisional ballot in AZ because she'd registered for absentee voting initially, and nearly missed having her ballot made invalid by a poll-worker's nonchalance over the need for it to be signed by a poll official before being submitted. So far I haven't personally heard of any horror stories, or any stories of great things happening when we least expect them. That's what I'm hoping the rest of you can share!
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