Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Election Day 2008

No, not the election in November that everyone seems to be talking about, I mean our election here today. We vote a lot around here-- this is the third statewide vote already in 2008. It would be two but for the fact that the D's and the R's held their respective Presidential Primary elections a week or so apart back in January. Around the offices of Amalgamated Monkeydarts we vote in every election, even the minor ones, so at lunchtime today a Jeepload of us went off to cast ballots. South Carolina doesn't have registration by political party. Of course the Democrat Party was the only thing going in the state for about a hundred years after the War Between the States until LBJ busted up the "Solid South" for his party in the mid 1960's. You couldn't find enough Republicans for a pickup basketball game if you searched the whole state back in those days. Since we don't have registration by party, a voter asks for which ballot he wants on election days that have primary contests-- like today.

When we made it over to the volunteer fire department to vote there was no line. The lovely ladies working the polling place were plenty glad to see our group. We were breaking up the monotony I'm sure. The last to vote in our group signed the Republican side of the ledger on line #63. The Democrat side had 5 signatures so far. Hmm, 63-5, I reckon the Republicans have the lefties outnumbered around these parts. There were two, exactly two, contests on the R ballot: Lindsey Graham running against a fella named Buddy Witherspoon in the US Senate primary, and a three way battle for our local representative on the county council. We live in an unincorporated area so our only voice over in the county seat is that county councilman.
The state uses the exact same touch-screen voting machines in every precinct in the state. They work just swell-- not even a Florida Democrat could foul them up. The longest part of the process today was signing in and having one of the poll workers activate a screen to use. The actual voting took two taps of the screen, one push of a red flashing light to cast the vote, and one tap of the screen to confirm. Took about 8 seconds. Total time to exercise the franchise, including the drive over to the firehouse, about 10 minutes. Might be a bit more crowded in November, though.
UPDATE: We get yet another election! Seems like our county council candidate with the most votes had less than 50% of the vote so there will be a runoff June 24th. Man we like to vote around here.