I voted this morning – at least, I tried to. I’ve been a registered voter here in Colorado since I moved here in the early 1980s. I’ve been registered at my current address for the last few election cycles. I received my voter registration card in the mail some time ago. I always vote in person, because I’m leery of having my ballot mailed to me. I was not anticipating problems.
I was eighth in line when the polls opened this morning, but the line moved slowly. Where I vote, they have printed lists (small books, really) showing everyone who is registered and assigned to that polling station. Each name indicates whether the person already voted by mail, already voted in early voting, or was eligible to vote in person today. It turned out that the first twelve of us in line were not even listed in the books or the supplemental lists. I’m hoping that this was just a glitch, but I’m not even going to be able to verify whether my provisional ballot was counted for two and a half weeks.
I’ve been registered as an independent most of my voting life. I was registered Republican in the early 1970s for a few years, then independent for several years, Democrat during the 1992 election season, and independent (referred to as “unaffiliated” in Colorado) since. I’m hoping that this is just a glitch, but I fear that it may not be. I was getting two or three political calls a day for a while, mostly from Obama for America, but they pretty much stopped after I told them that there was no way I would vote to reelect him. I’m hoping that there’s no connection.
My polling station isn’t the only one where things have been occurring. During early voting, there were enough cases of voting machines registering Obama votes when the Romney button was pressed (“calibration problems,” everyone was told) that the Republicans wrote to the AGs of six states asking that the issue be looked into. You aren’t allowed to campaign near a polling station, but some people don’t believe that. Some people don’t believe that. Some people don’t believe that. Some people don’t believe that. Some people don’t believe that. Some people don’t believe that.
There are other problems as well. Besides the Philadelphia Republican poll watchers being evicted noted at one of the links above, we have New Black Panthers patrolling at polling stations again, armed threats in Detroit, trashed ballots in California, shredded registrations of Republicans, suppression of military voting, non-citizens voting in Nevada, only Spanish-language provisional ballots in parts of New Mexico (Why is this even allowed? You can’t vote unless you’re a citizen, and you can’t become naturalized without demonstrating proficiency in English.), fraudulent flyers, and preemptive attacks on vote fraud watchdog efforts.
Not to mention vote fraud. And conspiracy to commit vote fraud. Did I mention vote fraud?
Is it any wonder I’m concerned?
Update: Local TV news is saying that what I experienced is apparently a pretty widespread problem caused by election officials “misreading” the lists. They’ve asked people to contact their reporter via Twitter or Facebook, neither of which I use.