I took the afternoon off work today to go to my doctor’s office to get my flu shot (about five minutes, in and out), and then to go downtown Cleveland to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to vote in the general election. I have had visions of huge lines at my regular polling place on E. 79th Street, where they are, shall we say, not fantastically competent. (I always have trouble getting them to understand my name, even when I spell it: it’s ROBSON, not Roberson, not Robison, not Robinson. Why is it so hard?)
Anyway, the Board of Elections was a model of competence. (A characterization that it has not always been possible to make.) There was a large number of people waiting to vote, but the line moved very quickly and everything was well-organized. The employees were all unfailingly pleasant and friendly, and they gave good instructions to each voter. They give each person a clipboard with the ballot envelope attached, which each person fills out with name, address, and vital statistics. When you get to the front of the line, you hand that clipboard to the clerk, who looks up your information in their database. You’re given another piece of paper to sign, and then the clerk goes to the back to get the ballot (two back-to-back legal size sheets of heavy paper, with fill-in-the-dots). The ballot is massive, which justified my reason to go to early voting. It took me a good ten minutes to complete filling in the dots on the ballot, and I ready quickly and I was familiar with the issues. I predict disasters at the polls on November 4, and I encourage all who can to vote early.