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  • Voting Frustrations

    So yesterday was Voting Day for Anchorage, AK. We are electing a new mayor and a few other things.

    Yes, we have the whole vote by mail thing/early voting etc. HOWEVER...I still feel comfortable with voting in person. If I can do it that way, I would prefer to. I don't have issues with people who chose otherwise. But I don't think they should make it harder for those who do want to vote in person on Election day to do so.

    Our municipality has decided to change all the polling locations. Or rather CLOSE almost all the polling locations. And this is only for MUNICIPALITY elections...State and Federal elections will still be held at the regular polling places!!!

    Yesterday after work, I headed to my normal polling place (a local church)...it was closed up. After several minutes of internet searches and a couple of phone calls, I find out there are exactly THREE polling places for all of the Muni for Election Day. Uh, this is for an area that from one end to the other spans in excess of 64 miles!!!! THREE!!!!!

    Normally when I vote, I am in and out! The longest it has EVER taken me was the last presidential election and I think it was around 15-20 minutes (I went before work). Yesterday, it took an hour and a
    half!!! They had THREE people signing in voters and only NINE voting booths set up. The line snaked around our local (main branch) library (which also houses our local Assembly Room) and then out of the building and into the parking lot. Even allowing for some (random) social distancing it was an incredibly long line. There were a lot of ticked off people.

    I really feel that all the changes to voting rules are just making it more confusing and frustrating to vote. I want to do my "civic duty" and be involved in my community but there needs to be some kind of consistency to the whole thing. I watched so many people turn around and leave when they saw the line. I can only hope they were headed to the other polling locations instead of just not voting! If they are going to have early voting, fine...have two or three polling places. However, on Election Day - open the regular polling places that everyone is used to!!!

    Thank you for listening to my rant...I had to get it out of my system.

  • #2
    Wow, that sounds like a horrible experience. I'm so glad I don't have to go through that - I've had my postal vote for 20+ years and it makes things so much simpler.

    And to add to things, for our elections at the start of May, you have to bring your own pen because of Covid!

    Enjoying some relaxation time on the Transatlantic cruise on the Disney Magic - I'm Cheryl and with my husband Mark, we love visiting Disney and exploring the world...

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    • #3
      That's terrible!! I suspect most of those who walked away simply didn't vote at all, which is a shame. I hope they wake up and realize what a mistake it is to do it this way.
      11/19-POFQ~5/19-POFQ~12/18-POFQ~4/18-Won. thru PC~10/16-POFQ~6/16-Won. to Alaska~4/16-POFQ~2/16-POR/Mag/POFQ~11/15-POFQ~6/15-Mag to Norway~5/15-POFQ~3/15-POFQ~12/2014-POR~9/14-CSR~3/14-POR~3/13-POR~ 6/11-Won. to Alaska~3/11-POR~6/10-GF/Poly~6/09-Mag~ 3/08-Pop/Won/POFQ~10/07-Pop~ 6/07-CBR~3/07-Pop/POFQ~6/06-Pop~12/05-POFQ~7/05-POR~1/05-Pop~7/04-POR~1/04-CBR~6/03-POFQ~3/03-POFQ~3/02-off site~12/01-WL~7/01-ASMU~3/01-POR~7/00-Swan~7/98-DxL~7/92-DxL~5/89-Off site~12/76-Honeymoon off-site

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      • #4
        Hmmmm, I'd wonder if it's political due to more of the party they want to restrict voting on election day.

        In the Lower 48, that's often done to keep so many people of color from voting. Could that be the reason up there, too?
        “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” —Winnie-the-Pooh

        WDW 11/2019-VGF/BRV; WDW 11/2018–VGF; WDW10/2017--VGF; WDW 12/2015--GF; WDW 11/2014--WL; WDW 11/2013--GF; WDW 1/2010--GF; WDW 7/2004--CR Tower /// DH to WDW several times in the 1970's & 1984; Me DL 1967.

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        • #5
          We all know who the certain party is that’s doing their best to make it hard for people to vote. Shameful.
          CINDY

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          • #6
            Ugh. Sounds absolutely awful. Hearing this makes me so glad that Washington is a mail in only state. I actually went mail in before the state switched to mail in only as the polling place for where I was living at the time was almost impossible to find and would not have been easy for me to get to.

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            • #7
              I would like to think that keeping people from voting is NOT what was intended. It would make me very sad to believe that. They really need to rethink the way this is being organized.
              With a lot of our rural areas, mail in and early voting is a great help when we are talking the federal and state elections. However, this was a Municipal Election so we were not dealing with people out in the Bush or in hard to get to areas!

              The workers at the polling place kept saying they didn't expect the number of people they were getting. You would think that the elections board would have been able to look at the number of mail-in ballots received and how many people did early voting and think - Hmmmm - maybe we should have more people and/or more polling places? And I was there at 5:00 at night, if they had realized they were getting a lot of people, surely there were back up workers that they could have called in to assist!!!

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              • #8
                That you went to vote at 5:00 really makes me wonder if it was political.

                That's been the conclusion down here because it's been determined that more low-income black or brown workers go to vote after getting off work from their day job and before going to an evening one.

                If that hasn't ever happened previously, yeah, I'd be very suspicious that voter restriction is the reason. Election officials can't suddenly be that clueless about voter turnout patterns there to not have enough polling places and then, as you say, to be somehow "unable" to bring in additional help.

                That sort of thing has become the pattern lately down here.
                “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” —Winnie-the-Pooh

                WDW 11/2019-VGF/BRV; WDW 11/2018–VGF; WDW10/2017--VGF; WDW 12/2015--GF; WDW 11/2014--WL; WDW 11/2013--GF; WDW 1/2010--GF; WDW 7/2004--CR Tower /// DH to WDW several times in the 1970's & 1984; Me DL 1967.

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                • #9
                  Sometimes I think those organizing the polling sites are thinking more of themselves than those who need and want to vote. We had a similar situation here several years ago when polling sites were closed and/or moved. Next time after many folks complained, it was back to normal.
                  Cam
                  29 Trips to WDW
                  2 Trips to DLR
                  2 Disney Cruises (Wonder and Magic)
                  1 Trip to Aulani/Hawaii

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                  • #10
                    Having worked the polling booths when I was younger - I feel that some closures may be due to a dearth of workers. It takes a lot of people to staff polling places - and with COVID, I know some places have struggled with getting people around here. Add in that there are a certain number of persons who will not vote in any election other than presidential, and it's a sad state of polling.
                    At least you won't have to go through that for larger elections

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by revral View Post
                      Ugh. Sounds absolutely awful. Hearing this makes me so glad that Washington is a mail in only state. I actually went mail in before the state switched to mail in only as the polling place for where I was living at the time was almost impossible to find and would not have been easy for me to get to.
                      Wow, I didn't realise that any state was mail in only. That's really interesting.

                      Enjoying some relaxation time on the Transatlantic cruise on the Disney Magic - I'm Cheryl and with my husband Mark, we love visiting Disney and exploring the world...

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                      • allgiggles
                        allgiggles commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I think there are 5 states that are mail-in only. Oregon has had 100% mail-in ballots for 20 years (according to a friend who lives there -- I haven't verified that but she's lived there for 18 years now.) I believe there are also several states that have mail-in only in certain districts/counties.

                    • #12
                      My niece just volunteered as a polling worker and they had 50 voters all day. It very likely could have been a resource consolidation not anticipating the turnout. Still, not handled well for sure and one of the reasons we vote by mail.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Teresa View Post
                        Having worked the polling booths when I was younger - I feel that some closures may be due to a dearth of workers. It takes a lot of people to staff polling places - and with COVID, I know some places have struggled with getting people around here. Add in that there are a certain number of persons who will not vote in any election other than presidential, and it's a sad state of polling.
                        At least you won't have to go through that for larger elections
                        This was not due to a lack of workers...they purposely closed all but the three polling booths.
                        There has been a lot of flack and news coverage. I'm going to be following to see what happens.

                        And I am sooooo glad it is only for the muni elections!

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