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Reporting from Kansas City, MO

  • Nov. 4th, 2008 at 7:57 AM
My husband wanted to vote before going to work, so I got up early and went with him. As I predicted, the lines at our polling place were very long first thing in the morning, but the people working there are doing a great job of diverting traffic and keeping the lines moving. Unfortunately, actually casting our votes didn't go as smoothly.

In Missouri (or at least in Clay County), voters are allowed to show various forms of identification aside from a state driver's license. The woman at the table where I was in line to receive a ballot tried to push my bank statement away and asked me if I had a license. I started to argue with her, but another worker came up and took over. She took my statement, found me in the book, had me sign it, and gave me a ballot with no questions asked. I have a valid license from another state, and I was willing to show it if it came down to that. But I assumed a bank statement with my current local address would hold more weight. I also did my research beforehand to know which forms of ID are valid, and a bank statement is valid here.

My husband had an even worse time of it than I did. When he voted in the primaries, he discovered that he was still registered at our old address. He filled out a change of address form and was allowed to cast a ballot with the provision that his registration would be updated. Well, apparently someone dropped the ball, because his registration was never changed, and he wasn't listed in their book today. The worker who was assisting him tried really hard to turn him away and send him somewhere else. We had to stand off to the side for 20 minutes waiting on someone to decide to give him another change of address form and a ballot to vote. In the end, they did let him vote, so all was not lost.

As far as how everyone else here is voting, it seems to be about even. Whichever presidential candidate takes Missouri, he won't do it by a wide margin.

One last thing, in case anyone is interested: one of the big issues in Kansas City this election is whether or not to build a light rail. Apparently there's a chance to have matching federal funds, and if it doesn't pass this time we won't be considered for funding again for another six years. We'll see how that goes.

Note: One more thing I forgot to mention. Most of the people I saw voted on paper ballots. I think there are machines, but I'm not sure they're going to get much use. I did see one lonely Diebold machine off to the side that no one was using.


( Comment )
ysathora wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
Just my little bit of humor for the day:
After voting, my husband went off to work, and I went off to Starbucks to further the "socialist agenda" by taking a free coffee handout. My experience there was much better. They had cups of complimentary coffee ready to go. I shared my wealth by giving the barista a tip.
brennakimi wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Just my little bit of humor for the day:
writing_light wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
I'm in Columbia Missouri. Luckily, I didn't have any problems voting. I did get there at about 6:05 and was done by 6:45. The lines were a lot longer when I left.

My voting location had a machine. I used a paper ballots because the machine had about 15 people waiting in line. Paper was so much faster.
ysathora wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Some people believe that paper is less prone to fraud as well. I don't know enough to say if that's true or not, but I do feel pretty confident that my vote will be counted.
addisonalbright wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, same county. :) I had no issues at all. I was in and out of there in less than 1/2 an hour. Probably more like 20 minutes, in fact. It helps that I had my voter ID card and a current driver's license. I didn't notice anyone else having any issues, either -- it was a smooth, short, and fast moving line.

Paper ballot, fill in the ovals, then feed it into a machine. No one pestered me for an exit poll, although there were some folks out there doing that kind of thing.
mechers wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
Well, good luck on the light rail initiative!
carmy_w wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
McPherson County, KS here
We have a small enough town that we only have paper ballots, and the election official has known me since I was a baby! She flipped through the book & found my name almost before I was up in front of her. Signed in, got my ballot, voted, and was out in 10 minutes. Very short line; this was at about 8:15.

The only odd thing that I noticed was that our ballots all say to use a blue or black pen, and they were giving out #2 pencils to vote with....
brennakimi wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
HURRAH! for lonely Diebold machines.
wackinessensues wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I <3 the light rail. We've had it in Portland since I was in Jr. High (oh, say 20 years) and it's just brilliant. They've been expanding it every few years and soon it might even reach where we are at now, which would be brilliant! No shuttle to the airport? That's some action I can get behind.
sparkstealer wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
ID problems
Just to give a bit of contrast, when I did my early vote here in NC, they didn't even check my ID, they just asked my address. I had a bank statement for my SO, who needed to do an address update, and he said they barely even checked it. We ended up finishing with our votes at about the same time.
( Comment )