Social Question

marinelife's avatar

Have you voted today?

Asked by marinelife (58017 points ) November 6th, 2012

It is the election of our leader. We have the privilege of voting for him or her.

Have you exercised your right to vote today?

How did it make you feel?

Were you asked for ID or were other attempts made to disenfranchise you?

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57 Answers

Seek's avatar

I’m in line now. The polls open in about a half hour. I’ve been here 45 mins already. Thank the gods for wi-fi, as I stupidly left my sample ballot on my desk at work and had to re-research the amendments and make myself a cheat-sheet. 12 fucking amendments, and they’re all six paragraphs long, and clearly written by propagandists.
“Vote yes on 10 unless you hate America and want orphans to be homeless”. or some shit like that.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s only 4:20 in the morning, so a bit early to vote. I’ll be at the polls at about 4 o’clock this afternoon though.

SuperMouse's avatar

The polls have not opened here yet and I plan to vote before I go to work this afternoon. I love to vote and have not missed an election since my eighteenth birthday. Ever since my kids were little I have taken them to the polling place with me so they will understand how important participation is. It must have worked because last night my youngest (who is 10) asked “what time are we going to vote tomorrow?”

DigitalBlue's avatar

I just got home. There was really no one there, there were no lines, I was asked for ID, and overall the whole thing was quick and painless. I’m just relieved, and crossing my fingers that tomorrow I hear good news.

tom_g's avatar

Just voted. I got there early before the polls opened, but by the time I was leaving the lines were crazy.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Did we vote for a Fluther leader or some such? In any case I did not vote for anybody today…

rojo's avatar

I just got up!

Geez!

Give me a few minutes to fininsh my second cup of coffee.

ucme's avatar

No I di…...oh sorry, you weren’t talking to me.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m getting ready to go vote. Of course I’ll be asked for my ID. That is the way is should be. Seriously, why would you think that asking for your ID would be an attempt to disenfranchise you?

tom_g's avatar

@bkcunningham – Come on. You’ve never heard any arguments against voter ID laws?

When did you get your government-funded voter ID? I didn’t get mine, although here in Massachusetts, you don’t need it.

bkcunningham's avatar

@tom_g, how does it disenfranchise you to show your ID? Tom, when you voted, you didn’t have to show some form of ID? You just walked in and voted? Of course you had to show ID. The registrar has to maintain the rolls.

Seek's avatar

Woo!

Was in and out in about 15 minutes. I had enough time in line to re-research the amendments and make myself a cheat-sheet. They had an old address for me, but it wasn’t a problem. Checked ID and signature, and we were good!

I kind of like the new Scantron-type ballots. Much better than chad-punching or touch-screen.

Hey, Floridians!
NO on 8 (tax funding for religious schools),
NO on 5 (Legislature can veto Supreme Court nominations),
NO on 6 (paves way for abortion rights ban if Roe V. Wade is overturned),
NO on 1 (blocking compulsory health insurance).

Seriously.

tom_g's avatar

@bkcunningham – There are many arguments to be made – and are made all the time – against voter ID laws. I thought you were asking “why would you think…” as a way of possibly saying that those arguments have been unpersuasive. Is this not the case?

How does it disenfranchise me? It doesn’t. I make a ton of money and have enough IDs to give out for halloween. However, there is a certain part of the population that does not have a photo ID. What are they supposed to use? There are people who don’t know if they can use their veteran ID or social security card or some other random thing. They might be old or or have no driver’s license.

So, if we are to require that people have an ID, which ID would that be? And who is going to pay for it? These are not easy questions, and the answer seems to be that we either pay for (taxpayer funded) a voter ID that is universal, and provide replacements at no cost, or require no ID at all. Or we are essentially saying that it costs money to vote. And not everyone has money.

Note: This also seems to be a case of a solution to a non-existent problem. Or a rare one. But we do know why Republicans are pushing voter ID laws. This is clear. They know that it will mean that less poor people will vote.

Ron_C's avatar

I voted this morning. They asked for my I.D. but I refused because it is not yet the law in PA.

I voted Democrat and Green Party. Unforunately there were no Greens or Progressives running for state senator or state representative. I had to leave them blank. I though of putting my name in but didn’t want to take the chance on winning.

tom_g's avatar

@bkcunningham: “Tom, when you voted, you didn’t have to show some form of ID? You just walked in and voted? Of course you had to show ID. The registrar has to maintain the rolls.”

Here’s how it works in Massachusetts:
– There were lines per precinct. I waited in my line.
– When I got to the table before receiving my ballot, they asked me for my street address, then my name.
– I received a ballot.
– I filled out the ballot.
– Before scanning my ballot into the machine, I had to “check out” with another person, who asked me for my address and name again.
– I then was allowed to scan my ballot into a machine and leave.

No ID required.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I voted in NY. We have a paper ballot that needs to be marked with a black marker and read into the reader. When I turned the ballot over I accidentally touched it with the marker. I put it through the reader and my ballot was rejected as “Ambiguous”. So embarrassing. They had me mark it “Spoiled” put an “X” through it and gave me a new ballot.
Ambiguous! And all these years I thought I straight.

Did I just double my potential partners?

SuperMouse's avatar

@bkcunningham I have voted for almost 30 years in two different states, have never once been asked for an ID and have never once committed voter fraud. Neither of the states where I have voted have had any issues whatsoever with voter fraud.

People can shout all they want about fraud, but it is just another straw man argument to disguise bias against the poor, the elderly, and minorities.

bookish1's avatar

I did early voting on my day off last Friday.

@bkcunningham: I’ve voted several times now and I have never been asked for ID at the polls; they verify my identity with my date of birth, first and last name, and address. I am a registered voter in my county and have never committed fraud either.

bkcunningham's avatar

I have voted for more than 30 years and I’ve always been asked for an ID.

I voted. Very short lines. Very short wait. Eleven constitutional amendments to select from here in Florida.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I am currently at work so I haven’t yet had the opportunity to vote. I will do so after my shift ends though. I’ll probably feel satisfied that I was able to vote but uninspired due to the fact that both people currently running for president really aren’t very good candidates.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I voted during the early voting in my state. The people that would be disenfranchised are the high percentage of elderly and poor because they may not a driver’s license or other government ID.

janbb's avatar

Not yet – but I plan to go on my way home from work. Hope my polling place is functional.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Going to vote when I get done school at 5.

I’m still shocked my college has a regular school schedule on election day, it’s insane how many people I’ve talked to today who aren’t voting cause they don’t feel like driving home after being in class all day.

Mariah's avatar

I voted absentee a couple weeks ago. I had the choice between voting in my college state or my home state. My college state is a blue state; my home state is purple. It was a no brainer. I’m very pleased I get to vote in a purple state where my vote “matters” (not that I would forego voting otherwise).

This is the first presidential election I have been old enough to vote in. Feels great. I had followed and been informed on the two prior elections and have been so frustrated by my inability to make any difference.

CWOTUS's avatar

I haven’t voted in 12 years. I see no reason to resume.

rojo's avatar

@bkcunningham thought you might like to see this Senior McCain Strategist on Voter Fraud or this although this one could be written off if you are a hard core Republican. We shall see. Personally, I see the second as a potentially serious problem for America.

Mariah's avatar

Oh, and on your last question…

My ballot went out to PA and like @Ron_C said, there isn’t a voter ID law there, although not for a lack of trying. It only recently got overturned, and when I sent out my ballot application several weeks ago it was still in effect, and I had to provide my driver’s license number, which I was fortunately able to do.

Yes, this is disenfranchisement. All Americans have the right to vote, but not all Americans have to have a photo ID. And plenty of poor people especially do not have driver’s licenses or passports. Consider that these documents all cost money to obtain. No one should have to pay in order to vote. It’s fucked.

My absentee ballot took a very long time to arrive after sending out my application, which I also perceive to be a problem. I sent out my application well before the deadline. I know someone who sent it out closer to the deadline and never received it. Fortunately he is able to go out and vote locally today, but were he not, he would have been disenfranchised. And he met the deadline. They should not advertise that you can send out your application right up until a deadline if cutting it close means you’re not going to get your ballot.

jerv's avatar

Nope. Did it over the weekend. WA does their ballots by mail.

@bkcunningham There are some who legitimately have no photo ID, and often have no need for one other than satisfying new voting laws. Weird (I guess they don’t drive, or but alcohol), but true. Lack of ID isn’t just for illegal immigrants.

marinelife's avatar

I just voted and it feels great. I was prepared to show ID as I was a new voter in this state (and first-time voters can be asked for ID) but I wasn’t.

Ron_C's avatar

@Mariah you’re lucky you were able to vote at all. The republican government worked very hard to disenfranchise many of us. I’m 65 now and expect to someday lose my driver’s license. Fortunately, I still have a passport. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if, some day, the legislature would disallow a national I.D. and require special Pa. I.D. cards. Anything to make it difficult for probable progressive voters.

gailcalled's avatar

I’ll be poll watching for the Dems from 12–3. It will be very straightforward. I do it for every election. There will be a rush from 5:00 on, with the waits being about 10 minutes.

In all the years that I have been doing this, rarely has anyone had to produce an ID. We all know each other.

Several years ago, because I own a private driveway with another residence on it, I had to turn it into a road and name it for 911 purposes. That took forever to get into the data base, but everyone knew that I was who I said I was and still lived in the same house on the same dirt road.

tinyfaery's avatar

I voted last Friday by write in ballot. I’m going to try to stay away from all media sources until tomorrow.

JLeslie's avatar

I haven’t voted yet today, but plan to. I will be asked for ID. I have always been asked for ID in TN. Interesting on the ballot this time it states the law just changed back in January of this year about ID rules. Has me wnderingif we were not required to show ID before? Or, maybe they just amneded what ID’s are valid? Not sure. It would be interesting if they were breakig thr law or if there was the lack of a law in previous years.

tom_g's avatar

This shows current (before election) voting ID laws by state.

bkcunningham's avatar

What is that, @tom_g, about 26 states that require some sort of ID?

tom_g's avatar

@bkcunningham – I counted 26 as well.

Seek's avatar

^ By “request”, Florida means that if you don’t have photo ID, you cast a provisional ballot that will be round-filed as soon as you leave the room.

bkcunningham's avatar

That is a lot of disenfranchised people, @tom_g. ~

tom_g's avatar

@bkcunningham – Isn’t that what I said? (Note: Sarcasm tilde doesn’t add anything to that sentence.)

wundayatta's avatar

Here’s my experience this morning. It illustrates how voter ID can discourage people from voting. There were lines stretching outside my voting place, which I’d never seen before. I debated leaving, but decided to stay. It took an hour. What was the trouble? Well, there were plenty of polling booths and they were all empty.

The problem was voter ID. I don’t understand this, but somehow, asking people to show ID caused huge delays.

I’m a pretty committed voter, and I nearly left. People who feel more ambiguously about voting wouldn’t put up with it. It will be interesting to look at turnout this year, and see how much lower it is than 2008. My guess is that it will be quite noticeable.

bkcunningham's avatar

@tom_g, the tilde in my remark was/is for all the disenfranchised people who may not understand its meaning. ~

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes I did, it was wonderful in our little town. We had coffee and donuts, and everyone was smiling. All I was asked for was my drivers license.

Seek's avatar

Man! I wanted coffee! They should totally have handed out coffee.

wundayatta's avatar

My polling place is a cafe. We could have bought coffee if we wanted to. Surprisingly, few people were doing so.

marinelife's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr My polling place was an elementary school and the very enterprising PTA had a bake sale and coffee! They were doing landmark business.

Ron_C's avatar

Our voting place is a Best Western motel. I guess I could have taken a room for the night and voted during breakfast. Fortunately voting went pretty well. I got there at 0730 and I was number 58. There must have been a line, the polls opened at 0700 but I guess I timed it right, there were only 3 people ahead of me.

SuperMouse's avatar

My polling place is my fifth grader’s elementary school. We were given strict instructions that if we happened to run into him we should not under any circumstances say hello. We walked to the lunch room looking for him and had missed him by about two minutes.

blueiiznh's avatar

Yes, I voted today. First thing I did after leaving the house. Glad my line was short. It took all of 6 minutes.

El_Cadejo's avatar

One of the polling places around me was A BAR! Talk about bringing up politics at a bar…. god knows how that turned out.

rojo's avatar

Yes, finally. Not too bad, short less than 5 minute wait. Did not have to show ID (thank you courts) and DID NOT observe a single case of Voter Fraud!! (Yes, I have a call into the Pope).

CWOTUS's avatar

That seems like astonishingly bad stewardship of the vote, not to have to provide any identification at all. Perhaps “I” voted after all, then, and only I don’t know it. Maybe “I” voted several times, in fact.

AmWiser's avatar

Yep! Voted early this morning (7:30) and as usual it was a pleasant experience. Produce driver license, sign a couple of forms the go behind a curtain and vote. This year they added booths at a long table where you could sit and vote if you wanted to. There have always been two separate precincts in the building where I vote. I have never encountered a long line at my precinct. The other precinct always has a line around the corner with people patiently waiting to vote.;-)

Blackberry's avatar

I sent my absentee ballot in a couple of weeks ago. This was in Oregon, though. I wonder if there was a way I could have registered in a swing state so my vote may have mattered more, assuming it did matter, since Florida is already throwing out absentee ballots…...

We’re fucked. I’m getting nervous.

Sunny2's avatar

I had mail-in ballots which I just dropped in a box at the polling place. Of course, they wont be counted until a couple weeks after the election. But if there’s an issue that’s very, very, close, it could be important. And I would have felt I’d lost something if I hadn’t voted.

rojo's avatar

@CWOTUS I don’t think so, THEY sent me a piece of paper that said I could vote. THEY told me where I could vote and when I could vote. THEY verified to THEIR satisfaction that I had the paper, was in the computer and still lived where THEY thought I did. Just like in every other election that I have voted in since 1973. It has been good enough for almost 40 years, why change now.

With this kind of fraud, if anything more than anecdotal evidence could be found, you are talking about a couple of votes and I don’t believe they have really verified or prosecuted, let alone found anyone guilty, more than a dozen over the last 20 years.

Not like when LBJ was running for office when entire ballot boxes mysteriously disappeared only to appear later with a majority of votes in his favor. But I don’t see any legislation being proposed to prevent this even.

If you want to worry about voter fraud, worry about what happens to that vote of your when you enter it into the computer with no paper trail. Sure, the screen tells you that you voted for candidate “X” but how can you be sure? What if they send you vote to a small company in Tennessee to “tabulate” it before it goes to the actual state official? Do you feel secure that what you put into the computer is what was actually tallied? I don’t. They can change an entire precinct or county with just a few lines of program.

THIS is a lot more worrisome than Ol’ Joe Dedguy voting twice but again, where is the discussion let alone the legislation to prevent it.

zenvelo's avatar

For creepeist polling place i nominate the Columbarium of the Neptune Society in San Francisco.

Cast your ballots amongst the urns full of cremains!

Seek's avatar

Oh I’m so moving to California.

…or Washington.

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