My Random Election Day Thoughts

I might come back and update this post as the day goes on.
I voted at the same time today as I did on primary day. On primary day, I casted the seventh ballot at my precinct. Today, I casted the 184th. Where were you people?! Seriously. Do you realize that many elections are decided by the primary? That’s an embarrassment that people don’t vote every opportunity they have. In my opinion, if you miss any election, primary or general, you should need to sign up again before the next election. But that’s just me.
I heard on both WPRO and WHJJ this morning that there are some (surprise!) irregularities already. Ballots being delivered to the wrong location. Wrong ballots were sent to South Kingstown and West Warwick and Woonsocket. To the point where voters were being told to go to a different polling location and submit a provisional ballot. My question there is whether it is possible to find out if a provisional ballot is accepted or rejected. But how does this mistake happen anyway? Someone messed up at the Board of Elections and sent to the wrong location. Then the local Board of Canvassers didn’t check the ballots to make sure they were correct. Then the local poll workers didn’t check to see if they were giving out the right ballots. Even worse, in one location, nine people filled out the wrong town’s ballot! If you can’t determine that you’re filling out the wrong town’s ballot, you probably shouldn’t be voting! And don’t tell me that they were all simply voting for the President.
Some quick messages from the Secretary of State’s Office on voting today:
-Bring your ID to vote. Picture ID is not necessary this year, but bring some form of ID.
-Polls close 1 hour early this time. Most now close at 8 pm.
-Never let the poll workers turn you away. You may always at least cast a provisional ballot. If you want to vote, never leave without voting.
-With redistricting, your polling location might have changed. You can look it up here: In the half-hour or so that I was in line, I saw two different people get sent to a different location because of redistricting. Save yourself the time and look it up.
-If you have any other questions or problems today, you can contact your local Board of Canvassers or the Secretary of State’s Office, as they oversee the election process.
And if you couldn’t tell, I’d really prefer it if you’d connect the line for Brendan Doherty today.
UPDATED: The ProJo tweeted at 9:16 that South Kingstown now has the correct ballots.
UPDATED: Commenter JTR wrote that when you cast a provisional ballot, you’re given written instructions on how you can track the status of your ballot.
One theme on the Dan Yorke Show today is that people aren’t happy with long lines and the customer service at the polls. In my experience, the workers do their best. It’s not like these people do this stuff all the time. They’re trained but things come up and their focus is usually on getting it right. If you want to see what it’s like to be on the other side, sign up to work at the polls next time. It’s a long, long day. You do have to be there for about 15 hours. There are no shifts, they may not leave. Let’s cut the poll workers some slack.
Multiple people are reporting the same thing I saw this morning. More people with last names between A and L are voting than people with last names between M and Z. I don’t get it. I have to assume that the board of canvassers know how many voters there are in a town and basically broke the list in half, rounding to the nearest letter. My experience was that I was about 20th in line in the A-L line and the people just kept queuing up behind me for about the 30 minutes I was in there. I saw maybe three people come through for the M-Z line. Did someone send a memo that A-L is before noon and M-Z after noon? Seems like a weird dynamic. Any thoughts on that?

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10 years ago

Patrick – I had to cast a provisional ballot in the primary and there is, in fact, a way to track if the ballot is accepted. After I cast my ballot I was given an informational sheet with web info where I could check the status of my ballot.

10 years ago

I was No. 328 at my polling place around 9:30 this morning . . . seems high, but polling places have been consolidated this year, so it’s hard to tell.
Looking at the long lines in other states . . . is it really possible that are all these folks lined up to give Pres. Obama another four years? Can’t quite grasp that.
We’ll know sooner or later.

Max D
Max D
10 years ago

“If you can’t determine that you’re filling out the wrong town’s ballot, you probably shouldn’t be voting!”
LMAO! Love to know how many ballots it took before the epiphany. I voted early this year and found myself in line with and having a wonderful political discussion with a member of the Hells Angels who, to my surprise, was up on all the political issues and candidates particularly in my community. It was very educational and a little entertaining. I actually walked away impressed. Who would have guessed.

10 years ago

My husband & I voted around 8am this morning in EP. We were in the L-Z line & waited about half an hour while there was no line (well, maybe 2 people for like 30 seconds) for A-K. Weird. Lots of reports of that happening throughout the state.

10 years ago

I’d like to challenge the contention that everyone should vote in the primaries. I don’t, because I am registered an independent, and I think it is really obnoxious to see voters with no primary contest voting in another party’s primary. It’s not really the purpose of a primary, is it?
That said, it is awful that so many seats go uncontested in RI; it’s a sure sign that the two party system is broken.

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