Election Day

Today is the big day, and you should vote. Even though you can’t stand all the negative ads. Even though it’s hard to tell who’s the Democrat and who’s the Republican because they all move to the center for their campaign. Even though they just give us the buzzwords we want to hear (“education”, “health care”, “drugs for seniors”, “social security”) without telling us what they plan to do about it. Even though it doesn’t appear that half of them truly believe in anything anymore.

Even so, you should vote.

I voted last week on the eSlate, the replacement for the paper ballot in this county. It’s not a perfect interface, but good enough, and there was one convenient feature that I wasn’t expecting: when you vote straight party, it automatically marks all the candidates of that party and you can just page through the ballot reviewing and making changes as needed.

The only real concern I have is that people who have little or no experience with computers will be scared away from the polls, even though the system is easy to use. Luckily they had a demo station dedicated to showing people how it worked while we waited in line. I saw at least one person take them up on the offer.

Apparently the turnout this year has been higher than usual. The line was conveniently positioned along the donuts in the bakery (it was at a grocery store), and everyone joked about how tempting it was to grab a dozen glazed and make a party out of it.

Houston Chronicle: “Stakes high for eSlate voting”.

Associated Press: “Scrutiny of High-Tech Voting System”.

Austin American-Statesman: “Travis GOP reports problems at polls”.