Early voting

I voted last week.  No small part of me wanted to go vote on Election Day and to enjoy what should, I hope, be a glorious and historic day.  But then my natural paranoia made me think: what if there are earthquakes in San Francisco and Los Angeles on November 4, and the Central Valley ends up deciding what happens with the presidential election and on odious proposition 8?  

And then the rational part of me also said that lines might be long, and the ballot here in San Francisco, particularly if you live in a district electing a supervisor (which I do), involves four separate ballots and takes a while to fill out.  It was decided: I would vote early.

So I went down to City Hall -- mind you, this was neither in the exuberant rush of people eager for the first day of early voting, nor was it close to Election Day itself, nor was it even at the lunch hour or some other busy moment -- and I had to wait 10 minutes to get a ballot.  And now come reports of long early-voting lines in many states, as well as surges of new voters registering at the deadlines, suggesting that there will indeed be long lines on Election Day.

My point is: why not go ahead and vote now if you can?  Or if you're not already doing absentee?  The Google has most of the answers about how to vote early if your state allows it.


cj said...

I don't know exactly how early voting works in Iowa, but all this early voting nationwide worries me. I'm imagining a horde of Republican lawyers just waiting to challenge every one of those early ballots on whatever technicality they can find. In states where early voting is a lot like election day voting, maybe there's no difference. But in states where it's more like an old-fashioned absentee ballot, I'd be worried that the risk of my vote not getting counted -- because I forgot to sign the flap or fill in the precinct number or something -- would be a lot higher than if I just showed up on Election Day. I hope I'm wrong.

SER said...

I actually think it would be Election Day voting that could cause more problems. If you vote early, you at least have some time to deal with any issues that arise -- most critically, if your name or address is slightly off (St. instead of Ave., etc.), which is what the GOP lawyers are supposedly going after.

In San Francisco, the clerk checked that everything was signed, etc., too. My experience with early voting in Iowa was that it was very professional, which is not necessarily what I expected of SF. Just pop down to that office on South Dubuque or another early polling location.

Finally, many people wonder whether absentees and early votes are counted at the same time as other ballots. In the past, some states would only count them if the election was tight. NPR had a story on this the other day, and because absentee/early makes up such a huge percentage of ballots now, they are all counted with the Election Day ballots in every state, as I recall.

Oh, one more finally: Obama has a zillion lawyers lined up. I think I read that the Democrats have 5,000 in Florida alone for Election Day.

kclou said...

I voted early. It was a pleasure. I recommend it highly.