Any of y’all vote early? Why? And how did it go?


A couple of things we talked about last night on Cynthia Hardy’s radio show (there I am with host, crew and fellow guests above) stuck with me.

One was all the talk about voter turnout. I joined in with the others in urging people to get out and vote — I even threw in the cliche about “If you don’t vote, don’t come crying to me about what happens after” — but I also shared my personal doubt about get-out-the-vote efforts. Basically, if you have to be reminded, cajoled, begged and prodded, I’m not at all sure I want you voting. I’d rather have elections decided by people who care enough that they would never consider not voting.

Then, I was struck by all the talk about early voting. Not “early voting” technically, but “absentee” voting — which is engaged in more and more by people who won’t actually be absent. My fellow guest Jim Felder kept urging folks to get out and vote today rather than wait until Tuesday, in case the weather is bad on actual Election Day. Various anecdotes about busloads of folks voting early were shared.

So I thought I’d ask: Did you vote early? If so, why? And how did it go? And anything else you’d like to share.

I know that Doug, at least, voted on Friday, because he texted me about it, saying it was very busy at the Parklane location. Perhaps he’d like to share some more about that.

Anyone else?

8 thoughts on “Any of y’all vote early? Why? And how did it go?

  1. Doug Ross

    I did vote at Parklane Adult Activity Center on Friday around lunchtime. I’m not sure this location has been available before but I found very convenient as compared to the typical problems of trying to find a parking spot and the long lines downtown.

    The location had a half dozen voting booths, two people processing voters, and two people shepherding voters to the machines. I was about tenth in line when I arrived and it took me about 10 minutes to reach the machine. When I left, there were about 20 people in line waiting to vote.

    Some observations:

    One woman behind me started to raise a stink about a Richland 2 school board candidate greeting people outside the Activity Center doors. It was much ado about nothing because the woman misunderstood that the 200 foot rule for candidates apparently only applies to handing out literature. There was no problem with her greeting people. The candiate, Amelia McKie, was involved in the Mia Hamm story from last week. I spoke with her for several minutes after I voted and she told me she had been very disturbed by the tone and racial comments. Since I would not vote for an R2 school board incumbent, I did vote for her. She had a lengthy background with the district and two kids in school there.

    What would it take to remove party affiliations and straight ticket voting from the ballot? This is one case, Brad, where I think you’d have to support a general referendum to get it done. If you don’t know the name of the candidate you want to vote for when you enter the booth, you shouldn’t be able to vote for that race.

    I wrote in my own name for Lt. Governor – Why? Because I want to see if my vote actually got counted when the officials results are released. I encourage all of you to write my name is as well. If elected, I will wear a GoPro camera on my head and live stream my day while at the State House so everyone can see how useless the position is.

    Everyone I saw handed over his/her id card without a problem. The whole id thing has been overblown. We can fix the issue of people not having id’s.

    A young black woman in front of me in line was obviously mentally challenged. She was accompanied by a woman who I assumed was her mother. The mother basically guided the young woman on things like where to sign the ballot form and how to write the date. She then stayed with the young woman as she went to the voting booth. I could see that one of the precinct workers was watching this happen and trying to decide whether to say something or just let it go. My assumption is that people are supposed to vote alone. He chose to let it go – which I think is the right decision. The young woman made the effort to be there to vote. Those occasions where she can feel like a part of the regular world are probably rare.

    In the only races that really mattered to me, I voted for French (Libertarian) for Governor, Emile DeFelice for Ag Commisioner (what he has done to organize the Soda City Farmers Market has been awesome), and four non-incumbents for R2 School Board. I voted for Victor Kocher over Lindsey Graham, hoping that Lindsey doesn’t hit 50% even though he’ll win. Voted for Alan Wilson as a thank you for taking down Bobby Harrell. Didn’t vote for either of the candidates for Secretary of State… I might have voted for Deering before that video surfaced.

    And I voted for the raffle ballot question. The government shouldn’t be involved in raffles when they run a lottery.

  2. o

    Had one person in line in front of me last Thursday a week ago. No problems and looking forward to Tuesday evening.

    Who is that in the center of the photo – Mitch McConnell? Camera needs flash. Betcha never been confused with that Senator.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That was taken with my iPhone — we were lined up for pictures, so I asked someone to take one with mine.

      The iPhone is for many purposes a wonderful camera. But I’ve never found the flash on it to be helpful. You usually get a better result just shooting in low light and taking what you get, because the flash just muddies things.

      The problem in this case was that the harsh partial lighting in the room, illuminating parts of our faces, fooled the phone into thinking there was more light than there was. Had I been taking the picture myself, I’d have touched on of the darker areas on the screen, and that would have increased the exposure overall. Of course, it would have caused the lighter areas to flare out…

  3. Michael Prince

    Hi, Brad,
    Only recently discovered your site — though I was familiar with you from your time at The State. Glad to see you back “on the air.”

    To your question:
    Yes, I voted early — absentee (and I AM really and truly absent). While filling out my ballot, I couldn’t help but think back on all those times in the past when I’d entered the ballot booth and was confronted by so many things I hadn’t properly anticipated, like all those down-ballot candidates I’d never heard of and the sometimes complex (and always torturously written) ballot measures. And then I thought of my friends out in Oregon, where they’ve had voting by mail since 1998, I believe. And that made me wonder why mail-in ballots aren’t the standard everywhere. Ok, so they don’t necessarily improve voter “turnout.” But they do at least provide an opportunity for the voter to do a little research and mull over the meaning and potential implications of ballot measures. Hard to see how the system we have now supports “informed choice.” True, a voter might could the effort to inform themselves before going to the poling place. But having the actual ballot helps focus your mind. I took 3 days to fill out mine, going through while checking online to see what I could find.

    Couldn’t find out much about those water district guys, though.

  4. Silence

    Anyone heard the new Jim Clyburn ad? I heard it on 101.3 The Big DM this morning on my way to work. Clyburn basically says that the republicans have been very mean to President Obama, that they are suing the president, and that if they take control of the Senate, they plan to impeach President Obama. Not sure if true…

  5. Mark Stewart

    I voted on paper ballots with a pen. At entry, stated my street, then my name. The poll worker used a red pen and a ruler to cross off my name and then handed me a ballot with parties but without encumbancies. The questions were in plain English with a clear description of what a yes or no would mean. There was a cop sitting in the corner asleep (literally). It took me less than three minutes door to door.

    It was Rockwell quaint. And the way it should be – minus the cop’s presence.


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