I Didn’t Bring The Envelope!

voting machine

It’s voting day in California.

We have open primaries here. I can vote for candidates from either party. We also have California’s election laws which add complexity… and lots of words. It was a long ballot.

I am a beneficiary of California’s motor voter law. My driver license came with voter registration.

Our polling place is in the clubhouse at a nearby apartment complex. I walked in with my mail-in ballot and puppy dog look! In front of me was a table with forms in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean.

“This is my first time voting in California. I’m going to need some help.”

Four poll watchers looked up and smiled. One asked, “Do you have the envelope?”

Do I have the envelope? Of course not. That would be too easy.

He was referring to the envelope for mailing my ballot in. An extra form to fill. I had to surrender the papers I brought in. My ballot is officially ‘provisional.’

Another poll watcher escorted me to the voting machine and gave me a quick lesson. “It’s not touchscreen.”

Glad she told me. It looks like a touchscreen, but there’s a wheel with thumb hole used to select everything. In 2014 this is a bad human/machine interface.

I spun my way through all the candidates and three ballot questions. One authorized money for subsidized housing for vets. Isn’t that a no brainer, especially after what we’ve seen the last few months?

A few more clicks and a printed ballot with bar code moved through a window. My last chance to check my work.

“Here’s your receipt.”

Really. You get a receipt for voting? I think it had to do with my provisional status.

“Can I return it in 30 days if I don’t like who got elected,” I asked?

The poll watchers smiled. Slow day.

I don’t believe I’ve missed an election day since 1972.