I Voted for Barack Obama Today

I took off from work today to head to the early voting location near the Iconfactory. I arrived at the Leonard Recreation Center on Ballinger Rd. around 4pm. I went inside to find a line of about 100 people stretching from the voting room to the gymnasium, and so I took my place at the end of the line. As I settled in, I started the chronometer on my iPhone to see just how long it would take to get to the front. Although the line was long, it did seem to move right along. People were in good spirits and I saw many young and African American voters come into the gym and head to the back of the line.

While in the gym, I was able to check my tweets and email and generally stay busy playing games and surfing the web. As I got near the front of the line more and more people started to come in, presumably trying to beat the rush before 5pm. When I reached the voting room, the nice volunteers took my name, printed my voting confirmation sheet and then asked me to wait for a free machine. To my surprise, the gentleman who showed me to my station recognized me and said “I know you, you’re the “icon man!” I’m not sure if he recognized me from past years voting in Greensboro or from the Fox 8 piece that aired a few months back. Either way it was a pleasant surprise and he and I chatted for a bit before I actually set about the business of voting. He explained to me that the rec center had been processing about 900-1100 voters per day for the last week and a half.

He gave me my instructions and warned me about voting separately for the presidential candidates if I chose to do a straight ticket and then we parted ways. I was very proud to press the button that was labeled Barack Obama / Joe Biden for President and Vice President of the United States. I double, then tripled checked it was correct and then set about voting on the rest of the ballot. I skipped many of the local judges since I wasn’t familiar with them.

When I confirmed my choices and stepped out the exit, I looked at my iPhone’s chronometer and it read 38 minutes. Time had really flown by there in line and the poll workers knew their job very well so all in all I had no problems. I was pleased to see so many of my fellow North Carolinians voting early. But most of all, I was happy that for the first time in recent memory, I actually had a candidate that I was proud to cast my vote for as President. Many people in line were smiling while they waited, I could tell the mood was upbeat and positive. I think many of them were voting for Obama too.


  1. It took me 90 minutes at the Municipal Building downtown the other day. The waiting in line was mostly pleasant, except that I was next to a crazy (though very sweet) church lady who kept reciting bible passages and at one point started talking about how the Rothschilds secretly control everything. The fact that she was an Obama supporter did not make me feel any better.

  2. Was this a touchscreen? Did it create a printout or just a bit on a memory card?

    I could switch a bit in computer memory a million times a second and no one would be able to tell. But that’s just me, I am a mighty programmer.

  3. Yes it did create a printout, but it stays there with them, you don’t get to take it with you which is not optimum in my opinion.

  4. That’s fine I think. 2nd gen touchscreens then. You don’t need a confirmation, you know what you voted for, but for a recount, this way they could recover from a memory card failure with the printouts. That’s already much better than the 1st gen, where you totally had to trust a blackbox.

    Still, this has to be changed back to a system where the people there are able to verify. Could be automated, no problem, but must be verifiable. Its useless to send people from both parties, when the only thing they can do is trust the machine.

    Sorry, you probably know that all by yourself, I know. 🙂

    Last time I voted I waited 2 minutes, BTW.

  5. That sounds like an excellent voting experience. I hope mine is as fun on Tuesday.

    Unfortunately, I’m not as happy voting for McCain as you are voting for Obama. Even if he wins, it’s not a happy thing for me. There will be incredible bitching and moaning and anger and rage from democrats about “another stolen election”, which will not be pleasant. Probably all I’ve got to look forward to if Mccain wins is 4 years of government quagmire with a hostile congress. At this point I’d almost rather vote for Obama and be happy. A little part of me wonders “what if?” “maybe they’re right?”. Maybe electing Obama would be like throwing the One Ring into the Crack of Doom and a great evil would be removed from the world and the world could be renewed. But I think that would be just like getting drunk. The next morning I’d have the hangover and the reality of our world would still be. I committed to Mccain long ago and I won’t change now, for good or ill.

    I am willing to admit that if Obama wins, maybe I will be happy in spite of myself. And if Obama wins, I will support him and give him a chance to prove himself.
    We shall see. I always try to keep an open mind.

  6. A really honest appraisal there Ben, thanks for that. I think there are a LOT of people out there that feel the exact same way you do and I salute you for the notion that you’ll give Obama a chance to prove himself. Many of those on the right will not, and will be set against him from day one should he win.

    These people don’t have the good of the country in mind. Just like those who hate Bush for the sake of hate, they think that ideology trumps all else. Bush has done much to earn the hard feelings that over 80% of American’s feel about him. Obama has not. He deserves a chance to let his actions speak before being pre-judged by those who simply “don’t like him”.

    I’ll be keeping my eyes on him just as much as I would if McCain ends up winning. Either one will face more challenges than any other President in modern times I fear. The energy crisis, terrorism, the failing US economy all represent aspects of our time that need to be dealt with swiftly if we are to continue our way of life.

    May God bless them both and keep them strong. They’re going to need it.

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