Friday, October 31, 2008

My Early and Not-So-Private Vote

iStock_2-party ballotXSmall

I sure wish the Colorado ballot looked like the one above. This year we have so many candidates, amendments* and referenda on the ballot that Tuesday could be a nightmare at the polls. The voter information booklet sent out by the legislature totaled 140 pages, and that just covered amendments, referenda and retention of judges.

I’ll be working as a poll monitor on Tuesday, so for that and other reasons I voted early. I had to chuckle the other night when I heard a talking head on TV suggest that those of us who vote early miss out on the benefit of the full campaign. Please. He was kidding, right?

Nearly every day for the past God-knows-how-long, the two major party candidates and their running-mates have said or done something that made me not want to vote for any of them. I doubt that the next three days will matter, barring some calamitous event. Besides, who says I voted major party anyway?

Only I know who I voted for…I think. The voting procedure here in Teller County was the least private I’ve ever experienced.

We had the option of electronic machines or paper ballots, and being the intelligent creature I am, I chose paper. After all, I do want my vote to count. That meant I had to sit at a table with partitions separating me from three other voters. So far, so good.

However, even though the ballot was placed inside a privacy sleeve, it was also something like 18 inches long. Whatever column I was filling out had to be outside the sleeve, and it took some time to complete the entire column.

Anyone walking behind me could easily have looked over my shoulder to see my ballot. When you’re standing at an e-machine you can do a body block, but not so when you’re sitting. But even if it means that my privacy was compromised, I would choose paper again without hesitation.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, the Colorado ballot didn’t offer the “None of the Above” option. Rats!

* I’m a huge advocate of citizen-initiated measures, so I’m not complaining. Honest.


Shauna said...

It did strike me as comical that even though Colorado had a record-setting number of presidential candidates listed on the ballot, I still didn't really want any of them. I would have gladly filled in a circle for None of the Above.

Marcia Ford said...

You and a lot of other voters, Shauna!