Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Did my small part today.

The polls opened at 7 am. There were people who had been in line since around 6 am. Some of the poll workers said that people came over at 5 am. I was there at quarter past seven and the whole thing took less than an hour with half an hour of wait outside. There were volunteers for the Republican candidates distributing leaflets. As far as I saw, not one of the voters took any. They all seemed educated about the issues and the candidates. There was a little bit of complaining that the county had not sent out information leaflets on the issues on ballot and also the people. They probably are trying to cope with shortage of funds.

In our county it's a low tech affair. The ID-s are checked against a binder containing the registered voter list for the neighborhood where then you sign your name. Then a poll worker makes a mark in a writing pad to keep count. When you approach the poll booth, a poll booth worker adds to the count in his own pad. My guess is that at the end of the day they will try to reconcile these numbers together and compare to the tally in the polling machines.

The polling machine was an old electronic device with a BW LCD screen from the late 90-s. But it was fairly well designed and calibrated; you have to design your IT products to the needs of your users. Since anybody can vote, you have to make the process very simple. I think the best testers in this case would be a group of 5 year olds and 70+ year olds.

So now it's time to sit back and wait for the results. Hopefully by the end of day today we will have a clear winner.


Ani said...

Two more votes here for Obama :)
Not in a state that "counts" :(

Why does Indiana close its polls so early--do people go to bed at 7:00 PM??

Anyway, this was interesting, sign of a good day, I hope?

Obama won in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the tiny hamlet that traditionally holds presidential voting right after midnight. He gained 15 votes to McCain's six, becoming the first Democrat to win there since Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

nazarian said...


are you in Indiana? I thought you were from Chicago.

Ani said...

No, and no again--farther east ;)

Just wondering why Indiana closes at 6:00--that's absurdly early in my book, but then I don't see the sunrise very often...

nazarian said...

There are some strange customs left from the agrarian economy era. The farmers got up early and went to bed early...

Until a few years ago there was no daylight savings time. It was a hassle organizing business meetings across the different time zones - trying to bring people together from NY, Indy and Chicago was a pain as you had to calibrate the time for the people in Indiana.