I voted today. Did you?
My overall experience was fine. I got to the polling place right at 7 AM to find 22 people in line ahead of me which is not unheard of. From the time I received my card to the time I gave it back, things were good. However, the general experience at this location was closer to an unmitigated disaster. They had 5 machines plugged into one outlet. When I got there at 7, the machines were still charging. The election officials seems untrained and unable to handle issues. It took 1 guy 5 trips to the machine before they finally got him a ballot. One guy was still receiving the wrong ballot when I left and one man had gone through the ballot only to discover they had given him the wrong one. He was not pleased.
The election judge in charge of the machines seemed untechnical and poorly chosen for the job (I vote in Precinct 56 in Collin County, if any one is interested). I understand that these people are volunteers but please, this isn‘t rocket science. As usual, the people signing you in were friendly and helpful. It‘s easy to see how conspiracy theories start when you give multiple people the wrong ballot in a single location. Not good.
Voting: I voted for Kinky and then as close to a straight Democratic ticket as I could. Where there weren‘t Dems running, I voted Lib. Where they didn‘t exist either, I left it blank. I believe Republican party has lost its way and its mandate and needs to be, shall we say, refocused. The Port security bill with a rider prohibiting gambling (well, not horse racing or lottery or pari-mutuel gambling or Indian casino gambling or any other gambling interest well funded by special interest groups) was the last straw but the Schiavo affair, the nomination of Miers to the Supreme Court and the general affinity for darkness and secrecy in regards to how the government spends my money all had an influence.
The party of Reagan and Gingrich is gone and it‘s been replaced by the party of Frist and Hastert, a moralizing, judgemental, big government monstrosity that embarasses me. I‘m hoping the GOP loses both houses but I‘m counting on at least one. I don‘t think the Democrats are a viable party either based on their pandering to the anti-war left but I don‘t see any way to make the GOP back into a decent governing party without striking fear into their dirty little hearts. It scares me to give control to the Dems but maybe a little gridlock wouldn‘t hurt us that much.