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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Signing on from California 

    Joining you for the duration from the Left Coast, I'm John Murrell from SiliconValley.com, fresh from doing my civic duty at the rec hall of a nearby mobile home park here in lovely Milpitas, Calif., where there was a line for the first time I recall.


    At my precinct, poll workers did offer the choice of paper or plastic (the card that you slip into an e-voting machine), and even being steeped in the debate over the electronic machines (see the recent e-voting roundtable on our site), I was on the fence. Then, just ahead of me, I saw three poll workers and a voter huddled around a balky machine, and I said, "Paper, please." The setup sort of made a sham of the traditional privacy trappings. Those who chose paper all sat together at a couple of long tables in the middle of the room (not that I'd mind if somebody cribbed off my ballot).


    Of course, privacy wasn't exactly sacrosanct at the machines, where my significant other cast her vote. She had intentionally chosen not to vote in a few races. A poll worker looking over her shoulder noticed, stepped in and, despite her protestations, clicked back through every page of her marked ballot until he grasped her intent. Trying to be helpful, I'm sure, but one just doesn't like company in the booth.


    posted by John Murrell at 5:20 PM



    This blog is compiled and edited by:

  • Ellen Dunkel, producer for Knight Ridder Digital's National Desk.
  • John Murrell, minister of information for SiliconValley.com.

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