I had an errand to run this morning, and I decided to take a route past my polling place to see how things were going. My plan was to vote at 10am, but if the line was short, I figured I'd duck in.
I don't remember the line ever being out the door. (The room you vote in is at the back of the building.) I wasn't worried about getting in later, after the morning rush, so I was encouraged by the line.
After finishing my errand and getting a coffee, I swung back by my polling place to see if the line had diminished. It was no longer out the door—in fact, I couldn't even see it from the door—so I stopped to sign a petition to get a traffic signal at 22nd and Cherry and then went inside.
I was taking the photo above when I heard someone say "hey!", and I looked up to see Al, who'd just finished voting. He assured me that the line would move rather quickly.
It turned out that I and the three people in front of me—and, I think, the three or four people in front of them—all had last names that began with A-H, so the volunteer who was working the line took the two guys behind me, who had names that began with R and V, I think, into the voting room to sign in.
A couple minutes later I and my fellow A-Hers were led in, and I chatted with a volunteer about the missing hyphen in my last name and the fact that she's always misfiled as well because she goes by her first initial and middle name. She, like most people, blamed the computers; I blamed the people who write the software (or design the databases :-).
I didn't have to show ID because I've voted many times before at this polling place, but I signed the book as usual and was told, "you're ready to vote." WOOOO! I had been waiting for this moment for what seems like EVER. I was asked by another volunteer whether I knew how to use the booth, and I said yes. It turned out I was wrong about that, because I accidentally voted NO on a ballot measure on which I'd intended to vote YES, and I couldn't figure out how to change it. I asked for help, and was told that I had to press NO again to clear it. (Weird, huh? I'd been pressing YES over and over.)
Anyway, I finally succeeded in entering all my choices. I can see from the photo below that there was a "straight ticket" option, but I didn't use it. I always vote in each race individually, even if in the end I choose all Democrats. (In the last election I voted for a Republican for City Council, and I've voted for Libertarians, Independents, and Green party candidates as well. I like to read the names and think about what I know of them rather than voting along party lines. This time there weren't any third-party candidates in local races, as far as I can remember, so my choices were fairly straightforward.)
I was so excited about photographing my ballot surreptitiously (I'd been told when I asked during the primaries that photography in the voting room was not allowed) that I almost forgot to press the VOTE button. I did remember just as I was turning to leave the booth, and I made sure my vote counted. The only other thing left to do was grab an Obama/Biden sticker (I was sad that there were no I VOTED FOR CHANGE stickers available at my polling place) and make a sign for our front door: