How do you vote?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I live in Oregon, and all of our elections are held by mail. We started that about 8 years ago. You can go down to the polls with your ballot on election day, but they are harder to find. We get a paper ballot to be marked in ink in the mail two Saturdays before the election, and we mail inside a secrecy envelope inside a signed mailing envelope that they can check against your signature. Your secrecy envelope is opened on election day. As I recall, it started with a grass roots movement by people who signed up for absentee ballots. It got to the point that about half of the registered voters were getting absentee ballots to mail in, and the legislature presented a bill to a vote by the people that everyone would vote by mail. It was a very popular idea and passed overwhelmingly.

    I think that we are the only state that purposely holds our elections this way. What about your state? Do you vote by absentee ballot so that you don't have to stand in line all day? Do you have an election day tradition?

    I voted on Saturday. husband and I sat down and looked at the voter pamphlets and looked online at sources we were comfortable with and voted together. I also feel like I am doing something for the environment, because the candidates will know that I voted (not who or what I voted for) from updated rolls, so we immediately start getting less and less campaign junk mail in the box. Now, if I could just figure out how to stop the junk e-mails...
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    How do they safeguard against voter fraud if everyone is voting by mail in ballot?
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    After the 2004 election, where voters in some part of the state stood in line for upwards of 10 hours to cast their vote, Ohio has initiated absentee ballot voting. You get an application in the mail and if you want to vote absentee you complete the application and then they mail you the ballot. You vote and mail it back.

    We also have early voting. It started earlier this month (I think) and continues until election day. You can just go to your Board of Elections office and vote. If you wait until election day, then you will vote at your assigned precinct. I'm voting early. I've already done the research on the issues and know how I plan to vote on the ballot initiatives.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have absentee voting available but I'll be going in to cast my vote. I'm hoping to be in line about 1/2 hours before the polls open so I can avoid long lines.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    We do it the old fashioned way in hicksville. Drive to the township hall - stand in line - and step into a little booth.

    Michigan has for all intents and purposes already announced the winner. All electoral votes to Obama. I hate this part of our process. If there weren't other important issues on the ballot why would a voter bother??

    I did see a clip on the news the other day that some states have gone to a 'drive thru' vote. Yup - just like you would pull up to a McDonalds. Give me a break.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I just walk in on election day. Usually, I wait until 2:30 to 3:30. It seems the quietest. People are picking up the kids from school or at work. I walked right in last time. This is a first vote in our new state so I will see how the lines are for this election.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    When my daughter was young, it was always at the precinct so that she could see how the voting process worked and how important I felt a vote was. Finally stopped that when she was 17. Now, I vote absentee ballot. I really like sitting down and taking my time voting.
  8. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I vote by absentee ballot and mailed it weeks ago- last time I did a walk in it was at the local school, traffic and parking were always a problem as people were picking up/dropping off kids. You had to wait in line while they checked your name (for some reason finding MC in this hugh book was always a problem- sometimes they ran it all together with the rest of the name, sometimes they put a space inbetween, sometimes they made the MC after the 2nd part of the name), then wait in another line while you signed, then waited in another line to get your ballot, then waited in another line to get into the booth.

    And because I am on the West Coast, they don't like to start the news on the rest of the country till almost closing time for fear none of us would show up at the polls.

    I don't think a total mail in state is the way to go though - most of the sign up for voting is done via the DMV - dex ALWAYS gets voting stuff thru the mail (and you are automatically signed up for jury duty as well) and he isn't a citizen, he only has a green card. You get a forged license and voila, you can sign up to vote.

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This year we have paper ballots and 'privacy booths' that have side panels. I am not sure how long the wait will be with this new format. The paper ballots have the list of candidates and you fill in a little circle to cast your vote. The line usually moves along nicely - each TOWN has it's own voter location, which is nice since we live in a tiny town. I go first thing in the AM to avoid the after work crowds.

    Does anyone remember when Election Day warranted a day off from work?? I miss that a little bit.
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    We do have the absentee ballots here and a few mail-ins, but mostly we do it the old fashioned way. We only have about 7,000 people in the whole county, just two little towns, and most people vote at the schools, churches or the court house. I'm only a half-block from our old courthouse so I can walk to it. We have all our elderly poll-workers who all come out and make a real day of it. I think, for some of them, election day is the only time they ever get out of the house!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  11. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    You can vote by absentee ballot here and a few people do but mostly we just do it the old fashioned way. The voting place is in the fire hall (volunteer fire department). There are only about 200 people in the whole town so, although people from the surrounding farms do vote here, there is hardly ever a line. There are 4 privacy booths with canvas sides. You get your paper ballots and go in there and mark them. I am on the election board and we have to check each person in and be sure he/she gets the right ballots as we have people who live in different school districts and natural resource districts so not everybody gets all the same ballots. There is one electronic voting machine for people who want to use it. A few people do. Also one place set up for wheelchair voting. Always an interesting day.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have all three...early voting, absentee voting and regular walk in voting. This year I think I am going to go for early voting to avoid the long lines. My problem is Im still unsure who I am going to vote
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    We go to our district -
    Meet the 80 year old Pit Bull who will make you stand in the rain until she finds your name in the registry -
    You get a STICKER (love that part) that says I voted
    You go over to a table with a small privacy petition between machines - and I mean it's the ONLY time I'm glad I'm a wide load to block out the little older men standing there in their VFW hats and pins wanting to talk -
    They put a cassette in the machine, ask you if you KNOW how to do touch screen -(I say yes, I say yes again they dont' hear me I shake my head yes and say YES very loudly) -
    I touch the screen -
    I get done -
    I get ANOTHER sticker - (love that part again even if DF says that the old man put the sticker KINDA low on my chest and kept pushing to make sure it stuck to my shirt???)) that sticker says I voted but it's different than the first one -
    I get home
    I PRAY
    I hope to win the lottery so next year I'm being approached by candidates and not having to stand in the rain to VOTE for them - they'll just come to my ranch and I'll send in my vote via limousine. lol (snort)

    Limousine ---------yeah - I'll just fly it there. :laugh: Oh boy.......BOY??? Take this to the precint will you? Be a dear - go on....
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    We have mail-in voting, advance polls, and then casting votes on election day.
    I was away during an election one year and used the mail-in process. If I recall correctly, it was pretty onerous. I think they should simplify it.

    I love the advance polls, and try to get to them every year. Since so many people don't know about them the crowds are pretty thin.

    Both the advance poll and the regular one are held in the auditorium at the local public school. You go in, show your little card and some ID to prove that you live in the riding. They cross your name off the list (or add you to it if you're not listed), and hand you a folded slip of paper. You go behind the little cardboard screen, vote for your local candidate, and then refold the ballot. Exactly as the scrutineer handed it to you. Then they open a little hatch in the vote collection box, you put your ballot in the slot and they close the hatch.

    It's been that way as long as I can remember...
  15. We have both early voting and absentee voting by mail (for anyone this year).

    I voted by mail and was very pleased. There have been lines that are reported to be 2 hours long at the early voting locations.

    I feel a little silly because I vote at the church on the corner of my street - it takes me two minutes tops to walk there.. but I'm concerned about lines.

    My next door neighbors have organized an election eve party with a potluck supper , libations, and a live band. We have no choice but to go .... LOL. He said, "I know, I know, you have to go to work the next day - but I'll give you a hall pass to be late". He's quite the character. He has an advertising agency , is very creative, and gives the coolest parties. I'm sure this one will top them all!
  16. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I go on election day. I just like the feel of going. If I have to stand in line so be it. Most years it isn't too bad here. I guess I feel like if you have a reason to do the absentee ballet go for it but I don't like the feel of early balloting.

    Employers are still supposed to give you time off to vote if you are at work the whole time the polls are open. I think we take convenience a bit far on this one. Not sure why I feel this way just the way I feel. I realize that in one respect it is supposed to get a higher voter turnout but really I think it should be worked on to get them out on the day it is supposed to happen. Your gonna be gone good reason, your military good reason, military family stationed away from home good reason. Just because you don't want to make time that day not enough for me. Keep in mind this JMO. It is what it is. I just don't like it. I think we are accomodating ourselves out of the way it really should be. I mean how far are we from Star's idea being the way that it is.

    I'll step off my soap box now.

  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You mail your ballot in an invelope (secrecy envelope) inside another envelope (mailing envelope).

    The county election office receives the mailing envelope, which is pre-stamped with your name, address, and voter registration number. There is a signature line below this stamp which is checked against your registration to verify that you are actually the person mailing that envelope. Only one ballot is accepted in that name.

    The election office then opens the mailing envelope, which contains the sealed secrecy envelope. That envelope has no identifying information and contains the actual ballot. The secrecy envelopes are set aside until election day, when they are opened and the ballots and their votes are tabulated.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    A two part response for this. The first year I voted for a president, they used to announce the national winner before our polls closed, because the Eastern states started counting and releasing results at least 3 hours before us. I worked late nights and woke up around 3 PM. They had already released the name of the winner for President, and that wasn't the guy I was voting for. The guy I was voting for could not win, given the electoral college, but had enough votes to get matching campaign funds, as did my second choice Independent candidate. So, I voted for the Communist so that he might get the funds for his campaign too. :eek: I was totally ticked off! If they're going to ruin my election day, I'm going to ruin theirs! Heck, they had already collected the matching funds!

    As to the ballot measures, we find some pretty rabble rousing items on our ballots most years, especially in the Primaries. Our primary elections are in late May, about 3rd to last. By the time they get to us, there are only 1 or 2 names left on the ballot for President because the Easterners have already eliminated everyone else. So, incendiary ballot measures are sometimes put on the ballot to get one side or the other riled up in an effort to make sure that State and Federal Senate races are voted upon. Officially that's not so, but most people who follow the elections here agree with that assumption.
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    In Oregon you have to register to vote. You can choose to do it at a DMV, but you're not automatically added to the voter rolls unless you register yourself. You are automatically registered for Jury duty, though. They also implemented that thing where you have to be a citizen to get a driver's license (I won't go there) so eventually as old licenses expire there should be less difficulty with non-citizens being tied in through the DMV to anything else. For now, most of the trouble is for Married women who have taken a different name than their birth name and need to hunt down the birth certificate, plus any and all marriage licenses and divorce decrees to prove the long line (like my sisters who have each been married 3 times and had four different last names!) of names makes them who they were when they were born, if that makes sense!
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    We live in a fairly large metropolitan area, and when I was younger you used to go to someone's house in the neighborhood to vote. I remember voting in people's garages as a young woman, and going to a neighbor's house and my mom voting in the living room when I was a girl.