I rode in the Park this morning, biking and taking pictures. It was another brilliant day, it is hard to believe that it is already November. I got home and Anne was marking her sample ballot and preparing to go vote at the county election commission. Anne is working as an election official on Tuesday, election day. So she is eligible to absentee vote in Missouri. Other valid excuses for absentee voting are being absent (get it?) from the county on election day (like Dave is), sickness or disability, religious beliefs and imprisonment, provided all other qualifications for voting are retained (??). Anne biked over to the election commission.
I got a call from Anne a little while later. She had forgotten to bring a bike lock. So, I said I would bring one over. She said no hurry. Today’s header shows only part of the line that was there when I showed up. By the time I showed up the poll had “closed”, but if you were in line already, as Anne was, the poll would remain open for you. The line was easily 1000 people long and Anne was less then ten from the end. She was in line by noon and voted at 2:30.
As she finally reached the head of the line, she spoke with the guy managing the line. He said that this year 40,000 people have absented voted by mail and another 26,000 in person. According to KSDK-TV in 2004 there were a total of 40,000 absentee ballots and the election commission was only expecting a total of 50,000 this year. The guy managing now just the end of the line said that he would be there until 10:30 tonight. Do the math, 40K in 2004, 66K in 2008, that is a 65% increase in absentee voting.
After she voted, Anne looked up her election supervisor. Anne mentioned the paper’s article from last week about a large increase in registered voters around Washington University. They looked up Anne’s poll. The registered voters at her poll have increased to 2000 from 900. Tuesday is going to be a long day.
Afterwards, Anne biked over to the Weavers Guild’s annual show. I did the shopping: food, dry cleaning, his’ and her’s new bike tires from REI. There was an Obama door hanger on the front door when I got home. Anne gets home. Dinner at four. Then Anne was off to canvas for Obama tonight. That my gal! I think I’ll blog instead. I biked 31 miles today and Anne biked 9 miles, but I think she has me beat. Don’t you?
UPDATE: A pretty good guess of how it is going to be on Tuesday, via the Daily Kos.
I’m very excited and yet still a bit worried.
That said, I can’t wait for Tuesday – I’m going early and will stand in line as long as it takes!!!
Pooh – I worry about the vote in Missouri. anything you can do about that? I mean, I know you can’t, but maybe just a litte?
I voted yesterday, and Dave has voted. Dan has Tuesday off, and Mark will stay in line as long as it takes. I could got out and canvass some more today or tomorrow, and I may. One of the canvassers I worked with yesterday had flown in from California! Come on down, and we’ll canvass together. I’m at the high school tomorrow, so I can remind all the 18 year olds to VOTE!
Today I will re-read the Election Judges manual and buy bite-size foods to keep me going on Tuesday. Tomorrow, I will try to go to sleep early, while visualizing how to make set-up and closing procedures go as efficiently as possible. Alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m., so I can be at polling place before 5:00.
Once the polls are open, patience, a friendly smile, and an eye for details are what I need. Pray that the power doesn’t go out. (see knitting by candelight blog.) Pray that changing the paper rolls on the touchscreen machines goes smoothly and not all at the same time. Pray that we have enough optiscan (paper) ballots and provisional ballots. Pray that all those newly registered voters means that there will be fewer who have to come to the problem table, which is where I work. Pray that the lines aren’t so long that the students have to leave to go to class, or that they do come back and try again. Pray that the line at closing time, 7:00 p.m., is not as long as the one I was in yesterday, as everyone who is in that line at 7:00 WILL get to vote. Pray that when we add up the votes cast and the signatures and voter tickets the numbers match. Pray that the voting in St. Louis City goes without tricks or incidents.
Pray that when I do finally get home, the news is not already calling the election for St. Louis County. Having just dropped off our votes to the assigned turn-in point, which is 5 minutes from home and 15 from the Board of Elections building, I know my location’s votes cannot have been counted yet. And we are still two hours ahead of CA, OR and WA, not to mention AK and HI.
That’s a lot of praying for someone like me who usually doesn’t!