Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election 2009 -- Strap In and Enjoy the Ride

Okay, it's not the excitement of 2008. It's not even the fun of a congressional mid-term. In fact, many of you didn't even have an election to participate in today. But this site is here to cover elections, and this is as good as it gets this year.

So let's gear up and enjoy what we have to talk about tonight: two governor's races, a couple of congressional special elections and some interesting ballot initiatives.

Polls start closing soon and as soon as they do, I'll be analyzing the returns, looking at the projections and doing everything that I can to keep you informed.

All I can tell you about so far is my own election experience.

I voted at Marlton Elementary School in New Jersey this morning. I went early, around 6:45 AM. There was no line and only a couple of other people there voting -- anecdotal evidence of potentially low turnout, I was thinking, although this was hardly a statistically significant sampling.

As I entered the booth, a twinge of doubt entered my mind as I hunt for Chris Daggett's name on the Governor row, thinking as I found it buried amongst columns of people I'd never heard of, "he won't win -- shouldn't I just vote for the lesser of the two evils among Corzine and Christie?" I then thought about who I would vote for among those two, and quickly came back to the same conclusion that I did months ago...that I couldn't pull the lever for either. I pushed the Daggett button, voted the down ticket races, voted on a couple of unexciting ballot initiatives (one was about preservation of green areas in New Jersey, another a question on whether to move municipal elections from May to November), pushed the record button and left the booth.

I left with a few thoughts:
(1) I wonder how many other potential Daggett voters walked in the booth, had the same doubts and ultimately voted for Corzine or Christie? This is the sort of thing that pre-election polls just can't measure.
(2) Is turnout really going to be low? If so, does this foretell a Christie win?
(3) How is it that in the greatest nation on Earth, we still don't have an effective back-up mechanism for electronic voting machines? I have no physical evidence my vote was counted and if the memory card in the voting machine that I used died, there would be no way to recover my vote. I renew my call for electronic voting systems with a paper back-up record in case of failure.

Much, much more to come tonight, folks.

Buckle up and enjoy...this is as good as it gets for political junkies this year.

Coverage on New Jersey, Virginia, New York and Maine upcoming.

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