Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting

Instead of voting early, Susan and I both waited until the actual election day to vote. Election day is always exciting -- the energy of democracy on display! It is a beautiful Georgia fall day for voting and the energy and excitement were palpable.

Susan, Aaron and I got to the polls at 7 a.m. this morning and there was a line well out the door at the Watkinsville East Precinct (City Hall). While Aaron is too young to vote, I thought I would take him along on the way to day care -- probaby not the best idea but he did fine. It took about 25 minutes to get through, and everything was very well organized. One of the poll workers (who also happened to be one of my favorite teachers from OCIS days, Mrs. Hansen) informed us that over 50% of registered folks had already voted.

Oconee is famous for high turnouts (in the last presidential election, I think we had the second highest turnout in the state) and it looks like things might be headed in that direction again. If this morning's lines are any indication, there is going to massive turnout for this race. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the city council race between Joe Walter and Luke Bishop. Normally, turnout is pretty low for council seats, but with this many people voting, the numbers could be high and the name recognition that comes with being from an old Oconee family (the Bishops) could help Luke's cause.

How were things where you voted? Long lines? Short lines? Anything else worth reporting?

6 comments:

Cody said...

I was home this weekend seeing my parents, and it was mentioned that out of the 20,000+ registered voters in Oconee County, slightly more than 12,000 cast ballots early (I think I remember those figures correctly!). It's amazing that more than 50% cast ballots before Election Day!

And, as a little side note, when "No Excuse Adsentee" voting was discussed, there was some question as to whether or not it would be favored by the voters! I guess we know the answer to that question now!

Brian said...

Unless the U.S. makes election day an official holiday, I would expect voters to like the ability to vote when they want to. Although I do have a colleague who thinks it's unconstitutional since the constitution spells out exactly when we should vote.

Oconee Democrat said...

I think that there will be significant shrinkage in the advance voting of Watkinsville voters who did not go the second location of advance voting for the Municipal voting in the Bishop-Walter race. It is too bad that this could not have been included on the ballot on the county level early on, but I understand the logistics inherent. I hope I am wrong and that everyone who voted early at the BOE place wonders/wondered over to the Watkinsville Community Center or their other site at the Government Annex and voted in spite of my gloom and doom prediction.

I voted to bring back Joe for another term, but I do also agree with you and recognize the cache of the old school Bishop name even in Watkinsville. How about you?

Oconee Democrat said...

I think I meant wanders/wandered

Jay said...

The city should investigate again contracting with the county to run the municipal elections. This would allow all elections to be on the same ballot and would increase participation as the city election would automatically be programmed to the voting card of each city voter when they came through to vote.

I encountered many people who told me in 2004, "We already voted early for you." I asked them if they voted a paper ballot at the city hall. Their response was always "No." I understand that both Joe and Luke encountered the same confusion.

This is evidenced by the little over 100 people (10-12%) of city voters who cast early or absentee ballots vs. over 50% of county voters.

Perhaps you and the council could look into this again, Brian. Julie and I inquired about the county taking over city elections when I helped with elections back in 2001-2003, but they were hesistant to do so at the time.

Brian said...

Jay -- I will ask about this. Thanks for the suggestion!