November 4th, 2008


I performed the quintessential act of American citizenship

Up, dressed, out, voted, home. That's it for me today. That's all my body can manage.

Our polling place was busier than usual, with about twice the usual number of volunteers running it. The usual cheerful retirees were there, as well as a high-strung staff of young people. The machines are a new kind that I loathe, but not as bad as some electronic voting systems. I had to wait about 3 minutes to vote. Mr P didn't have to wait at all. There were three voting machines operational; one was down, the pollworker told me.

I could go into detail about why I dislike the current system and strongly prefer the older Sequoia optical-scan system, but possibly it would make your eyes glaze over.

I am a professional computer programmer. I think voting should be conducted with paper ballots, optically scanned but hand-countable if necessary. Nice, simple, fill-in-the-box paper ballots. 1) Programmers suck. 2) User interface designers suck. 3) The two sucks combine to disenfranchise voters and screw up elections, which are far too important to screw up because of some urge toward computerized everything. Why do we need electronic voting again? What problem are we solving? Ask that question and answer it carefully.

Now I spend the rest of the day chugging cough syrup, napping, and (late in the afternoon) watching election returns. Remember, folks, exit polls are useless. Wait for early returns.
most emphatically

Yay! history!

I stayed awake just for that speech. Now I go to bed happy. It was an awesome speech. He knocked it out.

No. Wait. Not entirely happy. I don't know what the deal is with prop 8 yet. Looks like it's leading. Grrrrrrrrrr.