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July 20, 2004
I, Voter

Today was the North Carolina primary election, delayed for two months due to a nasty redistricting battle.

In the time between completing my previous post and beginning this, I was able to complete the voting process: verify the polling location on the Wake County website, find my keys, drive to the polling place, check in, vote, drive to the quicki-mart for my vice a pack of smokes, drive home, and explain the whole thing to the Parental Unit.

As I strolled into the polling place — the local elementary school — I noticed the rather low turnout, but all the people ahead of me were in the line for surnames beginning with letters M thru Z, so I was able to walk to the head of the line.

The nice little old lady behind the table asked my name and address, looked me up, asked my party affiliation (this was a primary election; here in NC, one apparently doesn't get to vote in other party's primaries — that's the way things should be), had me sign a paper (apparently to verify that I was indeed present) and proceed to the next table to pick up my ballot.

The fellow at the next table took and examined my signed form, handed me a ballot, and directed me to a booth, where I made the appropriate marks on the ballot.

From there, I took my ballot to the reader machine and inserted it. It made a series of self-satisfied whirring and clicking noises, followed by a smug sigh, which I took to mean that my votes had been tabulated, since upon hearing that noise yet another nice lady fairly leapt to my side and handed me the traditional "Be nice to me, I voted" sticker, which I obligingly fixed to my shirt before making my way out of the building and back to my truck.

As during elections in the past, not once was I ever asked to prove that I was who I claimed to be in order to vote. No request to see a voter registration card, no demand for a driver license or ID of any kind.

That's just wrong.

Posted by Russ at 07:10 PM, July 20, 2004 in North Carolina & Politics

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Yeah, that always bugged me too. Now that I'm back in Oregon, it's even weirder. You don't go to a polling place, you get a ballot that you then mail in or drop off at an authorized location, which is similar to a mailbox.

Posted by: Brian B at July 21, 2004 11:25 AM