I just got home from voting. 7:30AM.
I left to vote at 5:55AM, so I could be one of the first, be in and out quick, and be home by, say, 6:30, tops. That would still give me plenty of time to get ready for work and be out of the house at my usual time.
I was the fifth person in line at Hobson Road Community Church, Lisle Precinct number 071, DuPage County, Illinois (about 20-odd miles outside Chicago), and the first to discover that "Uh-oh! We don't have your ballot!"
They were supposed to have been given 450 of the ballots required for my precinct and area.
They had ZERO.
"No problem", I said, though one vein in my temple started to pulse with a beat that approximated the hot samba rhythms of Brazil. "I'll use the touchscreen machine."
"Um, that's not working either. None of us [seven--SEVEN--election judges] are sure how to set it up. You can come back later when we have your ballots, though."
Here I paused, and considered my options. I've been working until at least 7PM (poll closing time) most nights. I likely won't be able to get back here in time. Hell with it, I thought.
And so I did. For over an hour.
Finally, the Board of Elections field representative arrived, and HE was able to confirm that no, in fact, they did NOT have the ballots they were supposed to. AND he was able to get the touchscreen machine going (which opened up an entirely different set of qualms, but...meh).
Now, I've worked as an election judge before. The problem with the ballots should have been noticed and reported last night, at the latest. Additionally, one of those damn election judges should have been able to operate the touchscreen machine properly, but it was not to be.
Anyway, I just got off the phone with 1-866-OUR-VOTE (thanks to Warren Ellis for the number) and they said they'd be sending someone out to investigate.
Go vote, people. It's the greatest responsibility you have. Fight for it. Don't take no for an answer, be a nuisance, but make sure you get heard, and if anything goes even the slightest bit weird, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE and let someone know.
Thank you for your time.