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View Diary: New Legislation Would Help Shorten Voting Lines, Strengthen People’s Ability to Vote (162 comments)

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  •  I would first want to understand why. (4+ / 0-)

    In NewYork there are no 8 hour lines and we only vote on election day so I would want to know why in states that have many days to vote long lines persist.  Is it because people in Florida do not understand how to vote or people cannot read the ballot/  Probably not. But if there is a hold up in casting a ballot I want to know why. If it is because poll watchers do not know how to do their jobs then lines will persist. If it is because the voting machines break down then get new machines. God forbid that a great majority of citizens actually try to vote.  I think we really need to know why something that takes about two minutes cannot be accomplished without 8 hour lines.  Something is wrong and more time does not get to the root of the problem.

    •  It sounded like the ballot in Florida was (9+ / 0-)

      like a final exam.  

      But the other thing, it seems, is that there weren't enough polling stations for the population of people who wanted to vote.

      And... the voter roll purge probably didn't help at all to reduce confusion.

      Basically, the politicians who control Florida right now wanted to suppress the vote and they probably did succeed to some degree.

    •  Florida had a dual problem. (5+ / 0-)

      They didn't have enough early voting locations or days, and their ballot was ten pages long in some counties.

      •  And no doubt too few functioning machines (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM, elwior

        in all the heavily Dem precincts.

        As well as interruptions from voter challenges on line.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:07:39 AM PST

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      •  10 pages!? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

        by blueoregon on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:13:43 PM PST

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        •  It was 10 pages because of 3 languages (0+ / 0-)

          In south Florida we have to print the ballots in English, Spanish & Creole / French.  Not sure why - if you're a citizen you're supposed to know English (although there are exceptions for people 55 and older).  

          My mom had a 5 page ballot, Marion County.  Hers was only in English and she only had 1 local race for sheriff (which was a debacle by itself, something about the people on the ballot were disqualified, so you had to vote for people who were not on the ballot by voting for somebody who was on the ballot as your intention to vote for whoever took their place on the ballot.  Jeez, that almost makes sense even though it doesn't).  They had 1 bond issue, too.  

          Down in So Fla we had sheriffs, mayors, bond issues, the pets' trust, county commissioners...

          The 10 constitutional amendments had to be fully printed as the summaries that we usually have on the ballot and which were submitted for review were deemed unacceptable, confusing, misleading, so they printed the whole thing - which didn't help to clarify exactly what the hell you were voting for unless you were a constitutional or tax lawyer.  

          Nobody knows if yes really means no.  Vote yes to reject, vote no to accept?  Stupidest ballot language ever.  Thanks to the Miami Herald for breaking them down into English and explaining that the "religious freedom" thing really meant letting churches apply to the state for funds - uh, no, not unless they want to start paying taxes!!!!

          I actually took a picture of my absentee ballot pages before I turned them in, just so I could show my grand kids someday... Maybe I'll upload it to photobucket and do a picture diary so non-Floridians can understand what the heck took so long for us to vote.  

          "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

          by Ricochet67 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:14:38 PM PST

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    •  yes -- well, it depends (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, chapel hill guy, elwior

      Sometimes the machines are the limiting factor, and that is one advantage of optical scan systems over Direct Recording Electronic systems ("touchscreens" etc.). Scanning a ballot usually takes less time than navigating the ballot on a machine -- and even if the scanner isn't working, the ballots can be secured for later counting.

      Sometimes the crucial bottleneck is during check-in, prior to voting. Certainly the pollworkers can be part of that problem, but often it has to do with poorly designed or organized procedures. Electronic poll-books for checking voter registrations have been one failure point.

      It's true that adding early voting access doesn't necessarily address problems that ought to be fixed. On the other hand, it really can help a lot.

      Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:24:18 AM PST

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      •  That was our way to get people to vote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        optical scanner...  FASTER!  Our precinct had two touch screen of which one went down and one optical scanner.

        In the early morning poll opening, I specifically told the EJ I would be monitoring the poll workers to ensure that the offered the paper ballot (actually needs to be called machine scanned or electronic scanned paper ballot there was a lot of concern that their vote would not be counted right away when you just said "paper ballot"

        Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

        by totallynext on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:41:21 PM PST

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