Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hatin' on Waitin'

"We need more voting machines!"
"Why doesn't this county buy more voting machines?"

That's what I've been hearing all day. I'm taking a brief break at home to check email, make coffee, and pop some bennies Tylenol.

It's been a pretty smooth day here today. It started out a little hectic with a machine that froze up for some reason. After I reset it with my handy dandy paperclip, it worked fine. Then we had a few minutes' trouble getting a zero tape to run. And of course there was that whole Daylight Savings Time thing that the Great State of South Carolina seemed to have forgotten about. Yup. We had to reset the clocks on most of the machines. But all the precincts opened on time and the lines that had started forming at 6 a.m. were slowly beginning to move.

We have one pollworker in my home precinct that must have been a traffic cop in a former life. She's a lovely southern woman with a commanding but pleasant personality. She can organize 200 people in a heartbeat and keep smiling the entire time. She is never out of sorts by complaining or rude people. Margaret Wilson is a real gem. I don't know how long she's been working the polls, but she always has the hardest job...getting people in line and staying in line, and keeping them as comfortable as possible.

I spent a few hours just going around to my precincts and then visiting a couple of extra ones. I stayed in my home precinct the longest, just chatting up voters (my neighbors) and my bff Rena, who happened to get a seat right next to my preacher and her husband. So we visited for a good long bit.

The wait has been about 2 1/2 hours. Not bad. I mean, think about it: This weekend some early voters in neighboring Mecklenburg County waited 4 hours to vote. Most people are pretty even-keeled about the wait.But we do get a lot of complaints about there not being enough machines. The fact of the matter is that the machines are expensive and it's not worth it to buy so many more for one day every four years. People need to learn to just slow down and calm down. The problem is that we are so used to be able to do everything quickly that we are spoiled.

Back to the polls! And then I'll come home to soak in the tub and watch the returns.

1 comment:

Julia said...

One of the local news channels interviewed a guy who had been waiting a couple of hours for the polls to open and he explained that he got there early because "last year I had to wait 40 minutes to vote". No comment from the reporter!