Author Topic: The I Think I Voted thread  (Read 25498 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2006, 05:13:05 PM »
Meanwhile in the Really, Don't Bother Department:


Quote
Some D.C. Voters Encounter Problems
Poll Workers Report Unusually Light Turnout Across Vote-Rich Ward 3

By Bill Brubaker and Theola Labbé
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 12, 2006; 3:40 PM



Voting in the District's primary election got off to a sputtering start today with some electronic ballot machines malfunctioning and several precincts opening late. But the glitches did not create massive problems such as the ones that were reported this morning in Montgomery County.

Still, some would-be voters in the District left their precincts frustrated because they were unable to vote, according to campaign workers for several candidates and an ANC commissioner.

About 70 people could not vote at Hendley Elementary School in Ward 8, for example, because the precinct captain was late showing up, according to O.V. Johnson, an ANC commissioner.

"I'm very upset that people would leave here in droves," Johnson said.

A campaign worker for Kathy Patterson, running to become the next chairperson of the D.C. Council, said polling problems had been reported by supporters in several wards across the city.

No one was at precincts 84 and 130, both in Ward 6, to open the polls on time, Shannon Marshall said.

Ballot machines were not working at the West End library in Ward 2, she said.

Faith Wheeler, a campaign volunteer outside Takoma Educational Center in Northwest Washington, said only one electronic machine was working at the precinct early in the morning. The paper ballots were locked up, and no one had the key, she said.

The line at that precinct moved excruciatingly slowly and several people left in frustration, Wheeler said.

"Some said they cannot come back, they absolutely cannot come back, and some said they would try to come back," she said.

Bill O'Field, spokesman for the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, said he had no immediate comment on these problems because he was assessing the situation.

The turnout has been reported light at some precincts in Wards 2, 5 and 6 and average at some in Wards 3 and 4, according to election workers.

The District's two leading mayoral candidates voted early, then started touring polling places, including some where problems had occurred.

Linda Cropp arrived at Powell Elementary to vote at 7 a.m., wearing a jacket in her trademark bright red.

Although she is trailing frontrunner Adrian Fenty in fundraising and pre-Election Day polls, she said, "It's looking good. I'm just trying to see as many people as I can all day long." Her goal was to visit at least two precincts in each of the city's eight wards.

Adrian Fenty voted at C. Melvin Sharpe Health Center on 13th Street in Ward 4 at 7:15 a.m., accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and twin boys, Matthew and Andrew, both 6.

Election volunteer Levitha Suggs checked Fenty in on the voter rolls and sent him off to vote with a paper ballot. Later, Fenty said that after more than 15 months of campaigning, it felt good to finally be able to vote for himself.

"We have been waiting for this day for a long time," Fenty said. "We've put in pure hard work and that's what it takes to be the mayor of the District of Columbia."

Then he was off to greet voters at Shepherd Park Elementary, where voting was delayed by 30 minutes after the 7 a.m. opening time because the ballot machine would not accept ballots. A technician had to be summoned to fix it.

At precinct 38, Bruce-Monroe Elementary School in Ward 1, volunteers with the Fenty campaign reported in the morning that the electronic voting machine was not functioning.

"When you go to vote for someone, it puts that you voted for someone else," said Sundiata Street, who said he became aware of the problem after another Fenty volunteer went in to vote electronically and witnessed the malfunction.

Street said that he reported the problem to the campaign. Meanwhile, Street said he is encouraging all voters who come to the precinct, not just potential Fenty supporters, to vote on paper this morning.

Some voters were showing signs of election fatigue this morning.

In addition to three hotly contested citywide races, Ward 3 voters have been inundated with calls, visits and mailings from nine candidates seeking to represent them on the D.C. Council.

At Janney Elementary in Tenleytown, voters sped through the gauntlet of candidate volunteers, stiff-arming offers of campaign literature, poll workers said. And at Murch Elementary in North Cleveland Park, one woman shouted that she would not vote for any candidate who had called her home.

"It's information overload," said Paul Strauss, one of the Ward 3 candidates. "People are like, 'The seven mailings and eight robocalls were enough, thank you.' "

Marcy Oppenheimer, 43, said she made up her mind months ago on which Ward 3 council candidate to vote for: Sam Brooks, who won her over when he visited her Palisades home and talked with her for 20 minutes. She said she was impressed by his work as a political consultant.

Oppenheimer said she received nine calls Monday night from candidates, and didn't even bother to listen to them all. The only message that impressed her was from the Fenty campaign, but it included information on her polling place.

"It's a very new campaign for me, I'm not used to all of those," she said of the computer-generated calls.

"We were just at precinct 66 -- the big one -- and no one was there except for poll workers," Cropp spokesman Ron Eckstein said this morning, referring to the city's top-voting polling place at Bertie Backus Middle School in on South Dakota Avenue NE in Ward 5.

Turnout there was average or slightly better at Backus by early afternoon.

Election workers reported lower than expected numbers in the early afternoon at several precincts in Capitol Hill (Ward 2) that historically have high voter turnout.

At St. Timothy's Episcopal Church on Alabama Avenue SE only 330 of the precinct's 2,250 registered voters had voted by mid-morning, according to long-time ballot clerk Nellie McDonald.

"This place used to be packed when we had an election," McDonald said. "This time, we have had steady flow but not as much" as in previous primaries.

But in Precinct 36, the Latin American Youth Center in Northwest, election workers said they were busier than usual, with nearly 400 votes cast by 1:30 p.m.

Across the District, voters had strong opinions about the candidates.

"I voted for the lady standing right there," retiree Dale Harger said after voting at St. Timothy's, pointing to Cropp. "She's got the experience and I just trust her."

At the Backus precinct, retired Navy Yard worker Virgelene Braswell said although she has known Cropp for years she voted for Fenty.

"I think she probably win because the people know her," Braswell said of Cropp. "But I think [Fenty] can go more places."

At the Oyster Elementary School precinct on Calvert Street NW, lawyer Anne Stolee said she voted for Marie Johns because she "hated Linda Cropp's negative campaign" and felt Fenty's "heart was in the right place but he didn't have the attention to detail."

Stolee was one of the few voters trickling into Oyster at midday.

Fenty was the frontrunner heading into the day. But his campaign wasn't taking any chances.

Hundreds of Fenty volunteers rose as early as 4 a.m. and assembled under a white tent on Florida Ave NW across from campaign headquarters beginning at 5 a.m. to take part in what the campaign called an unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort that it hoped would translate into a high voter turnout.

The volunteers, about 1,500 total, were armed with "Team Fenty" tally sheets with instructions on how to report voting numbers throughout the day -- e-mail and text messages were acceptable -- as well as a list of contact numbers by ward. In addition to the volunteers who would staff each of the 142 polling places in the city's eight wards, a separate team of "rovers" would fan out throughout the day to deliver food and water, and troubleshoot among the volunteers.

Shouting "1-2-3 Fenty!" and "Win Fenty Win!" volunteers like Albert Pope, 52, of Woodridge, who would be out all day at 18th and Monroe Streets in Northeast, said he decided to help the campaign because he had confidence in Fenty's vision for the city. At 5:30 a.m., he was already calling him "The New Mayor."

Cropp's goal today was to visit at least two precincts in each of the eight wards, and she was the navigator as her small caravan of campaign workers and media maneuvered through the morning rush-hour traffic.

"Linda is her own GPS system," said Eckstein, her campaign spokesman. "She knows every road in the city and every shortcut."

Dressed in a red top--her campaign color--and black slacks, Cropp was often surrounded by as many campaign workers as potential voters, as turnout in some precincts seemed to be lagging. She was low-key--no music, no cheering, no entourage except for a few campaign workers--approaching voters with an extended hand and saying, "Good morning." She seemed to meet many people she knew, hugging them and asking them about family.


Offline nacho

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2006, 05:21:40 PM »
For you out of towners, here are the DC Wards.  Guess which neighborhoods are filthy rich and which are utterly, crushingly poor:


Ward 1: 46 percent black, 25 percent white.
Ward 2: 20 percent black, 61 percent white.
Ward 3: six percent black, 80 percent white.
Ward 4: 71 percent black, 15 percent white.
Ward 5: 88 percent black, seven percent white.
Ward 6: 65 percent black, 30 percent white.
Ward 7: 97 percent black, one percent white.
Ward 8: 91 percent black, five percent white.

Offline Tatertots

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2006, 05:23:34 PM »
And guess who makes the machines that are breaking: Diebold.

Offline nacho

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2006, 05:26:51 PM »
Yep.  Montgomery County (my county, in MD) really fucked up.  Though they were fine by the time I got there.

With voting so low, you'd think they would try not to make it intensely difficult for those who do care.  Discussion I had this morning -- why does this shit happen on weekends?  Hell, why are we going out to these places at all?  Why not do it through the mail like the Brits?

Offline fajwat

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2006, 07:13:16 PM »
Was that one guy (who you thought was flaming, with the campaign tshirt) who was voting a provisional ballot because hise machine crashed.  That was 8:45-9am.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline fajwat

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2006, 07:21:49 PM »
Some of our Comptroller's escapades.. I couldn't find a direct quote which included context for the Outhouse of Maryland statement, but its utterance was corroborated many places.

http://loper.org/~george/archives/2004/May/915.html
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline nacho

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2006, 07:32:48 PM »
Was that one guy (who you thought was flaming, with the campaign tshirt) who was voting a provisional ballot because hise machine crashed.  That was 8:45-9am.

Yeah. 

Offline nacho

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2006, 08:49:40 AM »
I stopped drinking coffee for a while.  You'd been maintaining the coffee and I figured you put the beans somewhere else.  So Ooookay, we're really out of coffee.  I'll try to get some today (or I'll let you know).  Your Pete's was good, tho.

Oh, dear, going from Peets to Majorca's coffee is like culture shock. 

I should take three weeks off and kick the caffeine habit.  That'll be fun.  Set up a webcam so everyone can watch the crash.

Offline fajwat

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2006, 01:58:01 PM »
what happened?  I noticed you didn't finish it.  I put the Ethiopian in there first.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline nacho

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Re: The I Think I Voted thread
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2006, 02:13:15 PM »
Nothing happened.  I just have to adjust to the different roasting style.  Also ran out of time.