Voting Complete

I had a hunch that the  line would be long at our polling place (which is right across the street from where we live), so I set the alarm for 5:45 AM (New York polls open at 6:00 AM). We got to the polling place at 6:05 and there was already a sizable line. After waiting for about 20 minutes, the missus remarked that she was a bit worried that almost nobody came out of the voting room. I agreed that this was worry some; either they were chopping up the bodies and storing them in a bin inside the room or the process was incredibly slow. There are four precincts that vote at our location and sadly our precinct has the bulk of the voters. Once we finally got into “the room”, the issues became more apparent. While we didn’t see any chopped up voters, we did see three precinct tables with volunteers just sitting idle (and three idle voting machines) and a long line of people waiting for our precinct. There were two voting machines dedicated to our precinct, but one was “not yet operational”. When I asked the man running the lone operational machine for our precinct, he said “oh, we’ll probably turn it on if it stays busy like this”. Sadly, the second machine hardly seemed necessary because it was vacant about 80% of the time. With the line now running out the building with people wanting to vote, how can the voting machine be vacant so much of the time, you might ask? Simple, because the sign-in table takes about 60 seconds per voter. The process was this: you tell the volunteer with the signature book your name. That volunteer looks up your name, you sign next to the signature from when you registered to vote. During normal elections, at this point you could go and vote, but during this election, there is another volunteer who now needs to copy your name and address by hand to another sheet of paper. Not only was she required to manually copy your name and address but she seemed obligated to get constantly distracted by what everybody around her was doing. When we finally left the polling place at 7:10 AM, the line was at least triple what it was when we arrived and they had only processed about 60 voters in that hour and ten minutes. The system is beyond broken, it should not take over a minute per voter. I am really afraid people will see how long it is taking and just leave only to either not be able to return later, or return later to find an even longer wait time and not be able to vote at all. In an election that is so important, they really should be stream-lining the process, not making it worse.

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