Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Morn 2008

The Change Will Come

It's cold, clear, and crisp on this election day. And for the first time in my adult life, I stood in line at my polling place. While I was momentarily awed by the sight of a line, it was about time that election day looked like this. People of all ages, colors, and politics, showing up because they knew something was at stake, because they were inspired, or simply because everyone else was doing it. For what ever reason, I was never happier to stand in line for something.

3917 is out of Ballots!

Across the country today there will be stories of voter intimidation, fraud, and obfuscation, but not here in San Francisco, not in the bastion of liberal civic-minded responsible citizens! But alas, as I cast ballots 505, 506, 507, and 508, the poll I was at RAN OUT OF BALLOTS! The high school volunteers tried desperately to reach their polling supervisor but to no avail. Tensions and frustrations began to heat up the already crowded poll and a mix of shocked and disgruntled voters standing in line all began to spread the word.

Immediately about half the line disappeared, and as new voters came to stand in line, there was no sign that more ballots were on their way anytime soon. As I left I spoke briefly to another voter and a Mark Sanchez supporter about the debacle at the poll. Turns out that she cast among the last ballots at the poll, 536. Since each voter casts four ballots, that means only 136 people had voted there before the ballots were gone.

I cannot believe this was happening here in SF! Did someone at the ballot office not watch the news for the past two years?!


Chloe said...

I agree with you about never being happier to wait in line for something. . . but I also wanted to share that the same thing happened to me! I was in the lower Haight polling place, and when they reached me (at around 8:30 in the morning), they only had 4 ballots left! I didn't get to see how that drama played out, but hopefully it went better than yours. . . I also hope that the people who disappeared from your line came back to try again later!

Jonathan Koshi said...

They eventually got more ballots to my polling place. I felt bad for those poor high school kids who were staffing the precinct, nothing like pre-coffee disgruntled voters demanding their rights to democracy. I did what I could to diffuse the tension by loudly thanking the volunteers, at which point I think everyone realized that it was not these kids' fault.