It has become an election day tradition: friends and colleagues contacting me with stories of voting irregularities. The first call came this morning from a good friend in New Hampshire. She lives in a predominantly Democratic precinct, where the voting machine (1 machine at her polling place with no backup) is optical scan. Unlike optical scan ballots I have cast in the past, in which the ballots were locked away to be processed later, at this polling station the SAT-like ballots are fed into the machine immediately. That is, unless the machine is broken, which was the case this morning. The solution: toss the ballots into a completely open cardboard box. Yeah, no possibility of “losing” ballots that way. She has attempted to call elections division no less than 10 times today, and has been greeted with a constant busy signal.
The next call came from a friend here in Ohio. He and his wife just moved, and so he went to the county Board of Elections to cast a provisional ballot. A man was standing in front of him, and stated to the election official that he had moved in the last year, and that he therefore needed a provisional ballot. When asked what his former address was, the man didn’t know, and called someone in order to obtain his recent prior address. I suppose that this is not as bad as the story I related from 2004, during which the election official here in Ohio asked the person for a name, following which the individual paused, pulled a card out of his pocket, and proceeded to read “his” name from the card.
Any other good stories from Corner readers? Send them along.