Cast Your Ballot At The Kitchen Table

This is a bit of a re-run, but it serves as a good reminder to use that application for an absentee ballot you got in the mail if you are a registered Ada County voter.

Both Ada and Canyon Counties have switched to the new system and clerks fear a traffic jam at the polls November 4.

Hanging chads are a thing of the past for Ada County and Canyon voters–those familiar punch card ballots are being replaced by simple “legal size” paper 8.5 x 14 inch ballots.
These will be filled in with a black fine point felt pen and read with an optical scanner–like those old SAT and college tests we all remember where a “#2 lead pencil was essential.

The new system offers a “paper trail” and seems to be more tamper proof than various computer methods.

The punch card and stylus system is no longer used because there was only one guy in the country who knew how to fix the reader machines–the guy who invented it.

The paper ballots with blank oval boxes to be filled in are as simple as the new “booths” which are a cleverly designed pasteboard box which pops into an instant polling position. Vote%20Booth.jpg
The box booths will probably last only for an election cycle or two, but they only cost $3 and don’t require any assembly or electricity.

In addition to the Obama-McCain presidential race, it is a long ballot with county commishes and state legislative candidates.

Both county’s election officials are urging folks to “vote early” (but not often) to help with the expected delays caused by the new system and the lengthy ballot. Questions are being taken at 208-287-6860 in Ada.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Voting this time around is going to be a long drawn out process. A sample of what is involved could have been seen at the Canyon County Fair this year. A real ballot on public opinion was there for fair goer’s to try out and get familiar with before the election.

    It was a very slow process to read and fill in the ovals with a pen. I don’t expect election results until the next morning after the votes are scanned and tabulated.

    The local paper (IPT) ran an editorial to hold off of early voting. Why you ask? So they can have their candidate forums and endorse candidates.

    Vote early and avoid the long lines that are anticipated in Canyon and Ada this year.

  2. The Boise Picayune
    Sep 30, 2008, 1:31 pm

    Personally, I enjoy the act of voting. My polling place is the Baptist Church at 13th and Washington. The Poll Workers are nice, and if you get there early enough there’s usually some really awesome home baked cookies.

    I enjoy the ceremony of hearing the names called out (“Joe Bleux Has Voted!”). One of the ladies usually claps as she calls it, and sends you on your way with a “I Voted” lapel sticker – which I wear as proudly as the “I Gave Blood” stickers I get.

    There’s a sense of fellowship in the air. Esprit de Corps even.

    The Few… The Proud… The Voters!

  3. I agree that going to the polls is part of the fun of elections but due to infirmities I wouldn’t look forward to standing in line for a long time. We have sent for our absentee ballots. Just for fun we may drive by our polling place just to see what the turnout is. It is an important election.

  4. If you need an absentee application, you can pick one up here

    I just decided to get an absentee ballot so I can take my time, vote over the course of a couple days, and have the internet handy to research candidates and issues I might not be familiar with.

  5. Sam the sham
    Oct 4, 2008, 6:53 am

    I like a paper trail in voting, even if it takes longer to get the results. At least it’s possible to have a recount should one be asked for. Yes, I do like walking over to where I vote, seeing the volunteers, hearing their voices.
    Will there still be room for write ins on the new ballots or will it make the machine throw out your ballot (“do not mark outside of the circle”)?

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