Report from the front line in Ohio. ETA: Final Update [View all]
Last edited Tue Nov 7, 2023, 10:04 PM - Edit history (3)
I've been on my feet, in the polls since 6:00 am, as a Democratic observer.
Normally we don't observe elections in odd years, but no one was sure what to expect with both reproductive rights and marijuana on the ballot. So here I am.
I have an entire city to cover (8 locations, 15 precincts). Voting has been steady and heavy at the 8 precincts I've been to. We expected dueling electioneering for issue 1 (reproductive rights), but all I've seen so far are folks pushing candidates.
Newish ballot readers. The first location had 3 machines down within the first half hour. The pollworkers hadn't yet learned how to guide voters, and if voters feed the second sheet before it thanks you for the first, the machine jams and they have to open the ballot box to release it. Since those are sealed so any tampering is evident they aren't allowed to be unsealed by precinct workers - the BOE has to come out. The paper stock is different this year, so the stub doesn't tear off as nicely, so a few ballots needed to be re-marked so they could be read.
The BOE was out before I was done typing up incident reports. Since then, nice smooth voting!
No obvious impact on my precincts from the last minute voter registration cancellation.
As always, anymone suspicious about unfairness in the election process should spend some time as a party observer. I've been doing this for more than a decade, in heavily Democratic, heavily Republican, and mixed counties and have yet to encounter anyone, from either party, doing anything other than their very best to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to vote.
About halfway done (the shift is from 6 am to 7 pm). My feet will be happy when I'm all done.
ETA: and the only unpleasantness so far . . . A voter decided to lecture me because I'm wearing a mask.
ETA: Final update - I got home about 45 minutes ago - poll closing at my main location was confusing and a bit chaotic. INothing that impacted voting/counting the votes that were cast. But I normally leave within 45 minutes of poll closing - and it took nearly twice that time. We're viewing this partly as a dry run for 2024, so over the next couple of days I'll write up a complete summary of everything I observed to help make things run more smoothly next time. We know people, so it is likely any suggestions that come from my group will be taken seriously.
1479 voters in my main voting locaiton. A similar number in my secondary voting location. In the main location around 2% provisional ballots (we worry when they approach 10%). Unfortunately, the ones I noticed were mostly young and/or black. I'm not happy with the new scanners - I hope they can make tweaks to make them less picky/more reliably functional.
And - it appears Issue 1 has passed. Thank goodness!!
Now - on to bigger and better things - As some of you know I'm pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in my retirement. I have to make a body extension for my 3D art class - a vampiress/bat/chick costume by morning. Something tells me I'm not getting much sleep tonight!