Election News Update
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 4, 2008 8:20PM
We're under four hours away from the first polls closing but the news is still going fast and furious.
- FiveThirtyEight is projecting a big Obama victory as of this afternoon, 349-189 (or, a 52.3 to 46.2 percent advantage).
- WBEZ has a great slide show of your photos of polling places across the city [via TOC].
- A reader in Hyde Park compared her experience to that of Lindsay in Pilsen:
I opted to use the electronic booth. I've only voted once in the state of Illinois before and that was an absentee ballot, so I was not entirely familiar with the procedure. In any case, I received my card, popped it in the machine, and the federal (President/VP, US Senator, US Congressperson) ballot came up. I chose my candidates and submitted my ballot assuming (stupidly, apparently) that the local candidates would then come up. This was not the case. I went back to the election judge and reported my problem. They seemed at a loss regarding what to do, but did want to help solve the problem. The solution they came up with was to reprogram the voting card to include the local ballot, apparently they couldn't exclude the federal ballot (I didn't think to ask), so I was asked to NOT vote the federal ballot again, just vote the local. So, that's what I did. My word on it - the paper trail on that particular machine should demonstrate that as well as no one used it in between my "first" and "second" votes - there should be a federal ballot with no local followed immediately by a local ballot with no federal votes. It seemed pretty apparent that the election judges, while very pleasant and trying to be helpful, did not really know what they were doing. At least they were *trying* to solve problems, though.
From what I observed of the way the cards are programmed, they require two codes - one for the federal ballot, one for the local ballot. This means lots of room for error if one of the codes is not entered or is entered erroneously, especially if the voter doesn't catch it. To be entirely honest, if I hadn't done my research beforehand, it's very possible that I would not have noticed if I had received a local ballot for a different part of the city.
So, I voted twice, but at least I'm not dead.
- Reader Mike reported a bit ago that at Grant Park, "There are two lines forming. One on the southern part of the curve connecting Michigan and Congress for people with tickets and another on the northern part of the curve for people without tickets. There are probably about 150-200 people in each line." Based on coverage we've seen recently, those lines have grown even longer.
Image by jenny p