Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cast Your Ballot At The Kitchen Table This Election

This is a bit of a re-run, but it serves as a good reminder to use an absentee ballot if you are a registered 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. It will, however, take you much longer to case your vote this time around at the polling places. Long lines are expected if you don't choose to vote early via absentee ballot.

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.
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 and 208-454-7562 in Canyon County.

Ask for an absentee ballot application or you can go to the elections office at the Canyon County Courthouse Elections and Passports Office at 11th Avenue and Chicago Street in Caldwell. You can also fax your request for an absentee ballot in Canyon County at 208- 454-6899. You will receive your ballot and return it via snail mail or taking it directly to the elections office at 1103 E. Chicago St.

1 comment:

  1. 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!


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