Please share your reports from the polls

There's no one in the L-Z line! It's good to be the W.

There’s no one in the L-Z line! It’s good to be the W.

Sorry not to have posted earlier. Technical problems on the blog. Here’s hoping they’re fixed now. I’m sure it was just a probing cyberattack by the Russians.

Well, I went and I voted, and it went fine, although there was a tiny glitch, no doubt also the work of the Russians. (Yes, those of you new to the blog; I’m kidding. I think…)

My wife got up just before 7, and was out the door before I could get ready. She returned in maybe 40 minutes, reporting that the lines at the Quail Hollow polling place weren’t bad, but the traffic getting in and out was horrible. Here’s the problem: We vote at Saluda River Baptist Church, which is at 3459 Sunset Blvd — across Sunset from our neighborhood. It’s in a section of Sunset where the hordes of people heading into town can actually get up a bit of speed — like, 55 or 60 mph — and this was rush hour. The driveway into the church is just below the crest of a hill. So basically, you can’t see the oncoming traffic until it’s on top of you.

So, I waited a bit, for rush hour to pass, then went to vote. And there was no line, for those of us with names in the L-Z range. The A-K people did have a short line to wait in, which is right and proper. It’s good to be the W.

Not only that, but I remembered my photo ID this time!

But then, when my neighbor who was working the poll took my little pink card and slipped that cassette thing into my machine to activate it… nothing happened. She was about to move on to try another machine when she noticed that the one next to this one still had a screen with candidates on it showing, and the voter had left. And here’s where we get into the whole voting-as-a-community thing.

That was Mr. So-and-So, she said, and he just lost one of his best friends last week, and has a lot on his mind. She ran after him, turning me over to another poll worker. The man returned, apologizing to all, and finished voting.

When I was done — this machine worked fine — she said she had told the man no problem, and that she supposed he was thinking about his friend who had died, and he said yes, he had been.

I learned one other thing — a bit earlier, the line had been out the door. So my timing was perfect.

How did it go for y’all? What are you seeing out there?

40 thoughts on “Please share your reports from the polls

  1. Jeff Mobley

    My daughter’s school has a late start every Tuesday, so I decided to vote after dropping her off at 9:30. I got to Spring Valley High School right about 10:00, and sailed through. I think I hit the sweet spot, time-wise.

    As I glanced at the straight party option, I smiled to myself as I imagined Brad raging against its existence. I voted in most contests, left some uncontested ones blank (soil and water, anyone?), and stuck to my guns, casting my first ever third-party vote in a presidential contest.

      1. Doug Ross

        That would be awesome. Thank you for exercising your right to vote and choosing to go outside the traditional two parties. Don’t care if it was Stein, Johnson, or anyone else.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Hey, I voted for somebody representing a third party.

          Not for president, of course. Something less critical. Something where preventing Donald Trump from becoming the most powerful human on the planet wasn’t on the line…

      2. Mark Stewart

        322 to 210. I don’t like your nightmare scenario; and wouldn’t regardless of which “side” I was on.

        1. Jeff Mobley

          Sure, there would be an angst-ridden Holiday season, and doubtless there would be plenty of confused people as TV journalists (many of whom would also be confused) attempted to explain the constitutional mechanism for dealing with a lack of a majority in the electoral college (there may even be some question about what some electors would do), but are you honestly telling me you’d prefer a narrow Trump victory?

          1. Jeff Mobley

            I suppose if you believe that Trump would end up winning anyway in such a scenario, then it would be preferable to avoid the angst-ridden 2 and a half months.

            1. Mark Stewart

              The last thing I want is for Trump to win; but I would rather have that than Trump at the center of a Constitutional crisis. That’s danger close.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Jeff, you should like this…

      My daughter has been trying to help her friend Avni Gupta-Kagan (one of my fine advertisers here) in her bid for Richland One School Board. She took my twin granddaughters with her, so I went by to see the girls holding up their “Avni” sign (at a scrupulously measured 200 feet from the polling place).

      I was there when another supporter came to relieve her at the polling place. The new volunteer asked some questions that she thought voters might ask. One was, would they still get to vote on school board if they had gone with the straight-ticket option? I supposed so, since that’s a nonpartisan race.

      Then, thinking about how she would explain that, she asked me, “What do you call it when you don’t vote a straight ticket?”

      Me: “Voting.”

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        OK, I made that story sound better than it was.

        What I actually said to her was this…

        When she asked what to tell people who wanted to know whether they could still vote for school board after voting straight ticket, I said, “Just tell them not to vote a straight ticket — EVER.” (My daughter pointed out that that was an inadequate answer, but I thought it covered all the bases.)

        Then, when she asked what it’s called when you vote but it’s not straight ticket, I said, “Just, ‘not-straight-ticket’.”

        THEN I added, “I just call it voting. Actual… voting.”

        Look, if you just want information, don’t ask an opinion guy…

  2. Dave Crockett

    My precinct in Oconee County had the longest general election line I’ve seen in more than 25 years living here. Even so, at 11 a.m. it only took a little over a half hour for my wife and me to cast ballots. There was a very jovial demeanor in line and no one talked politics. Campaign signs were not in evidence, though this was likely because only the Presidential, Senate and State House races had any competition. Everything else was uncontested candidate names and no local initiatives to weigh in on.

  3. Scout

    I voted at 9:00 at the Lutheran church on 378. Saluda River Precinct. Took about 30 minutes total. I signed line # 140 and I noticed the M-Z roster was on #119. It was more people than I’ve seen at one time at my polling place but it may be I was just there earlier than in the past. This seemed to be the on the way to work bunch. The A-L line was a lot longer than the M-Z who at some points could just walk right up. But part of the problem seemed to be the clerk was just slower. When we got there it was the A-M line but at one point they switched the letter L people to the other line and the lady at the door directing people to the various lines complained that they had not let her know they made this change. That was the extent of polling place drama I witnessed. We had 6 machines but one appeared to not be working. Several voters, I assume either elderly or disabled came and voted from their car, and workers disengaged the voting machine from the booth and carried it out to them, which seemed pretty cool.

    That is all I have to report.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    I voted in less than ten minutes at the Lourie Center at about 10:30. It would have been faster, but, bless her heart, the older woman (70+) running the laptop I got checked in at was, um, challenged. The younger woman (maybe 50)? kept having to tell her that I was number 79, and how to recover the cursor she kept losing….five people got checked in by the younger woman in the time I stood there.
    I did not vote “straight ticket” inasmuch as after selecting the Democratic Straight Ticket (because why not since it’s a short cut to what I would do anyway), I also had to choose Avni and Lila Anna, and vote against John Courson because he supports Trump. I declined to vote for only candidate for the Soil and Water Commissioner—why is that an elected office?

    1. Bryan Caskey

      “I declined to vote for only candidate for the Soil and Water Commissioner—why is that an elected office?”

      Shouldn’t there be some sort of rivalry between the soil and water folks, like Army/Navy? How did they get stuck together in the same office? I find this combination of offices to be suspect. 🙂

  5. Norm Ivey

    Made it a ‘Merica kind of day. We had a Western omelette at The Original Pancake House before voting. There were three people in line in front of me at North Springs Elementary a few minutes after 10:00. We had 15 or so machines, and maybe 8 had no voters at the time. They said they were really busy earlier. And about 47,000 of 250,000 voters in Richland County voted absentee. I saw Hacksaw Ridge at the matinee, and then had an American Pale Ale at Southern Brewed ($1.00 off because I voted).

    Greatest country in the world.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Dang. I’d like to have a dollar off on a beer (let’s be honest, I’d rather it be FREE, but that’s probably illegal on Election Day), but at some point during the day, my “I voted” sticker fell off — I didn’t even get a selfie of myself with it!

      1. Norm Ivey

        Fantastic story. I first saw the documentary of Desmond Doss several years ago. It seems to run fairly true to what I remember.

        Mel Gibson directed it, so it’s as gruesome as you might expect. It captured what I think must be the simultaneous fear and courage a soldier experiences in battle. Andrew Garfield was very believable as Doss except for the fake southern accent, but that’s a personal peeve. Vince Vaughn was pretty amazing as the drill sergeant. Doss’s humility, humor and faith were the story drivers.

        It was a moving and humbling film. I’m glad I took the time to see it in the theater.

        1. Norm Ivey

          If I had one negative critique, it would be that the supporting actors–troopmates– were pretty one dimensional stock characters.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            So they had an Italian guy from Brooklyn, a Southern guy from Georgia or Mississippi, a college educated guy, and an wet behind the ears midwestern kid?

            1. Brad Warthen

              You need the all-American boy — the football hero who quit in the middle of his senior year of high school to enlist.

              And the guy who’s nothing but trouble. It was this or prison…

            2. Norm Ivey

              Close. Doss was the southern kid himself, so there was some depth to him. There was the Brooklyn guy, a guy they called Teach, and the stud they called Hollywood. And the hard case who comes to admire the protagonist.

        2. Bryan Caskey

          Glad to hear it. I rate movies into:

          1. Must see in theater. (Less than 5%)
          2. Get on PPV. (Most any other movie I’m interested in)
          3. Wait until free. (the rest)
          4. Not interested. (dumb movies)

          I was on the fence about this one, but I’m now leaning towards seeing it in theaters.

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