Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Election: Why Does It Take So Long to Vote?

I'm not going to get into politics.  I'm not a very political person, but I believe it's extremely important to vote in Presidential and local elections.  This morning, election day, I woke up, got ready for work and headed to the voting area in my neighborhood.  I knew the lines may be long, but there wasn't anyone outside waiting, so I parked and ran through the rain into the school.

There were about 100 people in front of me in line and there were six voting stations.  Doing some quick math in my head I estimated about 30 minutes to be in an out.  Boy was I wrong, but it wasn't the fault of the voters in line.

Issue #1 - Why do we need to check in with two different people?
I have to fill out a piece of paper with my name an address.  This is given to me by a man and he also checks to make sure I filled out all of the information correctly.  After he confirms I'm who I say I am, off I go to the line snaking around the room.  This line is to go to two ladies who then check that original paper, again, and enter it into a computer.  Wouldn't it be faster to eliminate that first gentleman and give him a computer to speed up that part of the process?  With technology, why do we need a paper record?  Maybe for a signature, but I could do that on a screen similar to one at Target after I voted, right?

Issue #2 - Why are their two people handing out voting cards for six computers to vote?
There were multiple times while I waited that not a single person was voting.  These blocks could be as long as 5 minutes long.  MULTIPLE times!  And when people were voting, only 4 computers were used, at most.  There was not one time while I was there, when the line was the longest of the morning, that all 6 voting computers were being used.  That should never be the case.  Ever.  They had no urgency to get the line moving.  How is that allowed?!?  There wouldn't have been a line if all 6 computers were used - that's why they are there.  Someone at some point decided that for the population in that area we needed 6 computers.  We used half.

Issue #3 - Why are the two computers that ladies are using to check us in and to give us a yellow card touch screen!?!?
Really?  Have you ever watched someone type on a touch screen?  One. Letter. At. A. Time.  I'm a fast  typer, I use a computer all day long.  I'm quick.  But when I have to type on a touch screen, which is sitting up like a monitor to make it worse, I can only type with one finger at a time.  Where are the keyboards?   I'm all for technology to make the world a better place, but using technology for the sake of using it and then having it slow us down seems like a horrible decision.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop there and get down off my high horse.  If I could have helped move that line along faster, I would have.  Next election, shoot, I'll even volunteer to give up a day of work to help run the voting center.  Just tell me where to sign up.

There is no reason for someone to wait over an hour to vote when time is being so openly wasted by the people running the process.

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