I Voted?

I voted?

Oops, looks like we’ve been disenfranchised. Despite the fact that I called the Alameda Country Registrar of Voters last week and confirmed that we had been registered, our names weren’t on the list this morning. All we could do was fill out provisional ballots in the hope that it would be sorted out.

While we were there, a woman came in and requested a paper ballot, the way we were going to if we had been allowed to vote normally. The poll worker responded by giving her a provisional ballot too, saying that those are the only paper ballots they have. So that’s how Alameda county is handling people who don’t trust the electronic voting machines: they throw them in with the people who may or may not even be allowed to vote. That doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that these votes will actually be counted (as I understand provisional ballots often aren’t).

Registration problems seemed to be a recurring theme this morning. While we were there we saw more people taking provisional ballots than using the machines. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because people were requesting them, but because the rolls were so screwed up. To top it off, the poll location only had three (3) pens to fill them out with. Nice planning guys.

We spoke to the guy in charge afterward and registered our complaints about the registration problems, the way non-electronic votes were being handled, and the utter lack of organization and knowledge on the part of the poll workers, this guy included. He actually said that we seemed to know more about it than he did. This is not what I want to hear from the people in charge of collecting votes.

I called the registrar of voters afterward and confirmed again that we are registered and that we did in fact go the right polling location. The only explanation they could give me was that late registrations were sent to the voting locations separately and that maybe they weren’t checking both lists. The woman I spoke to took down my complaint about this and the general incompetence we experienced and admitted that this doesn’t come as a big shock to her. This last bit makes it even worse. If they are aware of the problems with the people running these things, why haven’t they done something about it?

Comments

raindrops says:

That happened to me the first election after I registered here, even though I had my voter registration card in hand, which had been mailed to me quite some time before.

SF lets you check whether your provisional ballot was counted right on the elections dept site. I checked acgov.org and it doesn’t appear that they have such a thing up there. That sux.

kchrist says:

We did get a number we can call to see if our votes were counted, but we have to wait 28 days.