I was prepared. I had looked over my sample ballot in advance, researched those races and issues I didn't already know about, and had it, filled out, with me.
Although I thought I was going to have to used the dreaded touch-screen machine (as I did in 2004), I instead used a PAPER ballot, which upon completion, I put into a scanning machine, just like in the olden days. Everyone in Florida now votes on the same kind of machine -- and it involves PAPER!
...unlike 2000, there is now a clear paper trail that shows voter intent in case of a recount. Voters now use pencil or pen to mark paper ballots, which are then counted by machine. Punchcards and their chad are no more.However, before I turned in my ballot, I TRIPLE-CHECKED to make sure that the arrow I completed said Obama-Biden. It did, I assure you.
The cynical part of me wonders if our statewide paper-rich system -- which would presumably allow for a fraud-free recount -- is the reason that John McCain's campaign is focused on Pennsylvania. I'm not the only one worried about McCain's new obsession.
While I was still outside waiting, the helpful poll worker was telling someone that the turnout had been steady. The first couple of days, about a thousand each day. The lowest turnout day was over 500. Our county has about 120,000 registered voters. Some are voting absentee; some on the big day; some won't show up at all. My early-voting site is not that big. I suspect that the larger venues have significantly more traffic. Florida has five more days of early voting: through Saturday.
It took a half hour from the time I left the car until the time I returned. I had reading material and wasn't bored.
When I returned to the car, I could see that there were still about 40 people in line. And while I live in SuperRed County, I know that I wasn't the only one to vote Obama.
I know this because of the Obama bumper stickers on the car that was in front of me as we waited to pull out of the parking lot and off to the next task in our busy lives, having done our part to try to pull this country back into sanity.