I Lied – Sign Controversies Continue… How Were Your Polling Stations/Voting Experiences this morning?

“Dear PoP,

A Vincent Gray worker stuck this poster right outside the polling place. Very cheeky! I alerted the election official and she got rid of it.”

Ok one last day of campaign sign discussions… But on to the election in general, how were your experiences at the polls this morning? Many folks haven’t voted since the excitement of 2008. How was the turnout at your polling station?

121 Comment

  • Wow… I guess this speaks volumns about people and who they associate with. Small crimes seems to be ok with the citizens of this city. I find it amazing.

    The same happened at Cesar Chavez School on Kenyon St, NW – illegally place Gray election sign.

    Is this a pattern we should watch for should Grey win?

    • you need to get a hobby if signs up near polling places get you that upset. every election in the history of humankind has had people electioneering too close to the doors. you’re crazy if you’re going to pin a win or loss on such happenings.

      • Like I said, small crimes are ok with my neighbors.

        I asked if this is a pattern we should watch for? I said nothing about pinning a win or loss on this.

        The law is the law – but maybe you don’t care.

        • You’re right. I don’t care. A Fenty or Grey sign outside a polling place is too inconsequential to care about. Law or no law.

        • You’re the same jerk who whines about speeders. Sure, the law is the law and everyone is supposed to follow it. You know whats more annoying than minor infractions? People who live to grandstand about petty infractions and nitpick about the inconsequential actions of others. Give it a rest.

          • Give it a rest.

            I think the way to do this is to ignore “Concern Trolls”.

          • I know that some things just aren’t worth complaining about, but I would lump speeders in that category. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids and people speed down my street all the time (not a major throughway). To me, it’s not something that you just shrug about and say ‘oh, well.’

          • TSM: That wasnt really my point, but I understand what you’re saying. The comments I’m talking about are from a while back when this guy kept berating people for thinking that camera ticketing for 1mph over was unfair. “Well just obey the speed limit” was his response. 1mph over the speed limit never endangered anyone’s life.

          • Wow: Good point. I see what you mean.

          • Hey WOW… you got the wrong guy.

            While I think speeding is completely selfish and foolish not to mention dangerous to seniors, children, pedestrians, and so on… I am not your man.

            1 mile over the speed limit does not warrant a ticket in my opinion.

            But like I said, small crimes are ok with my neighbors.

            I am sure that is what the dealer on the corner thinks when he sells a nickel bag.

          • Then I wholeheartedly apologize for besmirching your good online name. It is a case of mistaken identity – though I swore I remembered you being hard on those minor speeders at the time…

        • Yes, you’re exactly right. Selling drugs can be directly compared to putting up a campaign sign inside the no electioneering zone.

          Those two things are exactly the same. Well done.

  • Went at 10pm to one of the Shaw voting centers and there was no line. only a handful of folks.

  • Not sure if this is the right place for this and I hope not to start anything controversial, but does anyone have any thoughts on Orange vs. Brown or Brown vs Mendelson?

    Or any good places to look for information?

    • Mendelson is great– the only reason Brown is competitive is because people are confusing him with Kwame Brown (who is running against Orange).

      Kwame Brown has financial issues (personally)– but Orange was late to the game in endorsing gay rights in DC. This was a toss-up… I voted for Brown. These candidates are basically the same if you look at your platform. For me, as a gay man– I had to go with the candidate who advocated on my behalf before it was popular to do so.

  • Just my experience: the Gray and Graham campaigners were the most aggressive/pushy campaiging right till the campaign line and a little beyond. And Gray campaigner wouldn’t take a “no thank you.” Sheesh.

  • Voted at Marie Reed @ about 8:30am this morning. Shorter line, moved quickly. I was the 123rd person to vote. There was a longer line for day-of registration/names not found in the registrar’s book.

  • anon. gardener

    Voted at Barnard Elementary early this morning. Fast and easy. Well organized.

  • CNN Has us voting on whether to keep Chancellor Elizabeth Rhee… http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/14/sep.14.five.things/index.html?hpt=T1

  • SusanRH

    Voted at Latin American Youth Center in Columbia Heights. I moved recently, so I had to do a special ballot. The only lines in the place were for special ballots/registration. Only issue I had was they probably should have had a few more people working the special ballots.

    • I saw the same thing at the Latin American Youth Center. The special ballot line was long, but everything else seemed to be going quickly.

      I did have some trouble voting, though. I had requested an absentee ballot because I wasn’t sure I’d be in town today. The ballot never came, but the voter roll said I’d been sent one. I was told to get a special ballot, which I’m pretty sure is what’s supposed to happen in a situation like that. But then the people at the special ballot line flat out told me I couldn’t vote.

      I didn’t try to argue, but just went straight to the poll monitors’ table and asked for help. They got things straightened out, and I got to do a special ballot. Despite the confusion, everyone was friendly throughout.

  • Voted at Cesar Chavez school at Sherman and Kenyon at around 9 am. 120 people had voted by optical scan, not sure how many touch screeners. There were about 15-20 people inside voting or in line. Vincent Orange and Fenty had folks with signs outside, didn’t see any other electioneering.

    Took about 10 minutes to get through the process. Pretty well staffed and smooth although zero privacy in the voting booths, you could watch your fellow voters fill in their ovals.

  • voted at 13th and monroe today. everyone was super nice… probably my easiest voting experience ever.

  • What time do polls close tonight?

  • Voted at Raymond Elementary this morning at about 7:50. The poll staff were very friendly and professional; I waited approximately 30 seconds to vote; and I was on my way much faster than anticipated.

  • Voted at around 730am at Henry C. Gregory III Family Life Center (next to Shiloh Baptist, Ward 2 Precinct 18).

    Very fast, friendly volunteers, paper ballot with no line.
    The special ballot line was pretty long and slow though.

    Great morning.

  • Was the 19th person to vote at Raymond School on Spring Road. Cheerful, I love exercising the Democratic rights that I do have.

  • I voted at the Marie Reed educational center. Voter registration cards list address as 2200 Champlain, but the entrance to vote is on 18th Street. There must of been 15 “This Way To Vote” signs inside the building once I found the right entrance. You’d think they could spare one to put next to the steps on the Champlain side.

    • +1,000,000

      Even an illegally placed Grey sign would have been helpful (kidding!). Nice to see Graham obeying the law, and serving coffee right outside the designated line at 18th street.

      I didn’t see any electronic voting machines at Marie Reed — paper ballots were the only ones available. I was the 86th person to vote there 🙂

  • jburka

    Walking the dog this morning across the street from my polling place, I was thoroughly annoyed to see a guy in a Gray shirt, holding literature, right by the steps up to the school. But by the time I got back there 10 minutes later to vote, he had moved to a legal area (or I would have complained inside). Fortunately my polling place is on a relatively quiet street, so I just walk up the other side and cross directly into the polling place and avoid the pushy folks altogether!

    Voting went smoothly and quickly, other than the staff person who kept forgetting to hand out the “I Voted” stickers!

  • voted at KC Lewis on 300 Bryant Street NW. Almost empty, smooth process, took maybe 3 minutes.

  • No problems at Rudolph School this morning.

    Question – does anyone else have an issue with the new rule that they have to read your name and your part out loud when they hand you a ballot? Isn’t there just something inherently creepy about that?

  • I voted this morning at 7am at the Presbyterian Church on 15th street and there were several problems. It appeared that many longtime residents’ names and/or addresses were listed incorrectly on the check-in sheet, and they had to go to another station (wait in a very long line) and fill out a new form. Some voters were getting extremely angry, a few left in a huff and some started yelling and screaming at the poll volunteers. I can understand the voters’ frustration, but their behavior was simply uncalled for. I feel bad for the volunteers, it’s clearly not their fault the lists were messed up. I hope the problems are resolved soon.

    • 15th and R NW, just to clarify.

      • I voted at 15th and R and the major frustration was that the volunteer checking names in the E-K line was so old and doddering that it took her forever to find names on the list — that line was by far the slowest moving. It took much longer to vote than it should have. I very much appreciate people volunteering, but they have to make sure that volunteers are able to do the tasks they are assigned.

  • As of 10:30 AM, 325 people had voted via optical scan at the Charles Sumner school (17th and M, NW). Smooth process; no lines !

  • I saw campaign signs all over in front of my polling place @ Coolidge High in Ward 4. Par for the course. As long as they don’t cross the imaginary line… Polling today/this morning was fine. Had about three or four people in front of me. My neighbor was working the election. Nice to see someone I know from the neighborhood.

  • Voted around 7:30 AM at MLK Library via the touch screen machine. All went smoothly and the whoe process took less than 10 minutes. Electioneers outside were all behind the legal line and there was an DC BOE person out there as well to keep them from getting too close. I did like that the touch screen machine prints a record (but not a receipt) in case there’s a breakdown later.

  • Voted on 9th Street (between Q and P)– I was the 13th person to vote this morning. Very organized– hoping Fenty pulls off an upset and wins.

  • No problems, no lines at Precinct 42 this morning at 7:30 for me and at 11:30 for my wife.

  • I voted at Miner Elementary. I needed a special ballot because of a change of address. It took forever– 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the process. Most of this time was spent waiting in line (I was only the fourth person in line– I have no idea what took so long).

    A lot of the other people in line said that they had always voted at Miner but for some reason today their names weren’t on the list and they had to have a special ballot. There was also a LOT of confusion about who could vote today (at one point they announced that people with ‘No Party’ on the their registration couldn’t vote today, and a bunch of people left after having the primary vs. general election difference explained to them).

  • Voted at MacFarland Middle School on Iowa Ave. this morning. Few people were there and the regular voting seemed to be going fairly smoothly. I had to fill out a “special ballot,” though, since I’d recently moved and didn’t get my change of address processed in time. Enormously frustrating. It took me over an hour. There was one woman working the special ballots and she had no idea what she was doing — and admitted as much. I’m pretty sure that even if they get around to trying to count my ballot, it will be thrown out for some kind of processing error on her part. Two other people in line with me gave up and left without voting. I don’t mean to knock folks who are volunteering their time, but I have to say, it was really discouraging.

    • I don’t know why the special ballot pollworker at your precinct did not know what to do (perhaps it was because it was a new process). However, I think they should invest in more than one computer for the special ballot table. No matter how fast and knowledgable the special ballot clerk is at determining whether (and why) someone needs to vote using a special ballot, the need for the pollworker to enter the information in the computer is going to create a bottle-neck and long lines. Hopefully since so many people in this (high-turnout) primary took the time to update their address/change their party affiliation, there won’t be as much frustration during the general election.
      I thought most of people waiting for special ballots at my precinct were patient and didn’t see any give up (though I also saw a lot of confusion about the need to be registered with a party to vote in the primary).

  • How close are you allowed to campaign to voting places? Parkview had a lot of people with signs first thing this morning

  • Voted at Shiloh Baptist Church…site of a major Vincent Gray rally this past weekend…makes you feel good about such an objective location to cast your ballot…especially when there are DC gov’t buildings so close by like the Kennedy Rec Center or the brand new fantabulous Shaw library…but we continue to vote at a Baptist Church which has political rallies for specific candidates…why is that again?

  • My husband and I both voted at Rudolph ES before work this morning (~7:45am). There was no line; we were in and out in minutes. We had no issues and the environment felt generally low-key. No campaign workers or signs beyond where they should have been.

  • I voted at the AME Church on 16th/Oak. I found it odd, bordering upon archaic that they were using paper scantron ballots. This city really wants to go back to the ’80s.

    • The 80’s style scantrons work faster, and more reliably than touch screens. They process more votes, break down less often, and work more efficiently.

      Just because something is old or new, doesn’t make it better.

    • When I voted early at Hine they used machines – I didn’t see paper ballots being offered though they could have been.

      • sarcasm alert: I for one found it eerie and weird that they used super-old-school graphite pencils! I mean, WTF? Where are the levitating laser stylus wands? Tried-and-true sucks! Let’s hear it for brand new everything, everytime, no matter what!

      • sorry. that sarcasm was meant for ‘Nonmiss.

  • As an Independent I’m not allowed to vote in the primary. BOO!

  • Voted at Park View Rec Center. No line. In and out in ten minutes. Electioneering was kept outside the legal distance. Lots of supporters and literature offered but everyone was polite.
    I find it incredibly odd and somewhat worrisome that I’ve never been asked to show an i.d. when I vote in DC. I really don’t think it would be an onerous requirement.
    I voted for Fenty. I think he’s done a great job and see no reason to change horses now. And despite what people seem to think, I don’t see Gray as a substantive change. He has not identified a single policy of Fenty’s that he plans to change. He’s just going to be “nicer” about it. Whatever. Anthony Williams was the stiffest politician I ever met but he got things done. Like the City Paper said – Fenty may be a jerk, but he’s the right jerk for the job.
    Voted for Bryan Weaver for Ward 1. Tough call because I like Jim Graham and he has been effective. The Ward will be well served when he wins.
    Wrote in a co-worker’s name for DC Delegate. I respect what Holmes Norton has done over the years but it really is time to get someone new into that job. What has she done for us lately?
    Did not vote for council chair. Not enthused about any of the candidates and not sure either will be a big improvement over the other. Whenver I think of Orange I remember that dumb song he used during the mayoral campaign. The verses didn’t even rhyme.
    voted for Phil Mendelson. Devil you know versus the devil you don’t know. Curious as to whether he is behind in the polls because of name confusion of people really want to get rid of him. Anyway, I didn’t know enough about that Michael Brown to vote for him.

    • ID is not required, nor should it be. Not everyone has one. A lot more people than you think can’t get an official government ID. Not to mention if you’ve moved and the address doesn’t match it creates all kinds of problems.

      • If you don’t have ID,how do they prove you’re permitted to vote? Or haven’t voted more than once?

        And everyone needs ID. Blah,blah,Big Brother. Carry ID.

      • Like someone said early, you do get a Voter’s ID when you register. I used that.

        I believe IDs should be required. Why give anyone ammunition to use against you later… you know Republicans have been crying that one for a long time and one day it will stick.

      • My problem is that since no one checked to see that I am in fact the person whose name is on the voter rolls, anyone could have shown up, used my name, and cast a vote. I don’t know about you, but I see that as a problem.
        I don’t get the aversion to a requirement that people have some form of identification.

      • can you be more specific on why ID shouldn’t be required? And, a few examples of why people can’t get an official government ID?

  • Voted at Precinct 92 in Ward 7 this morning all went smooth. There we’re 20 Gray signs outside but its also a Gray stronghold so…..

    Anyways I voted for Gray.

  • I voted at Garnet-Patterson Middle School (precinct 22) this morning around 10am. Well, I got there around 10am. Took a solid hour in the special ballots line because I hadn’t declared my party yet. Oh well. The volunteers were all pretty amiable and low-key.

    Had a couple calls from Graham electioneers outside the school on my way in. Bryan Weaver was also there — he called out, “And I am the other candidate!” as I was trying to shake them off. 🙂

  • I voted at Barnard this morning at 7:30am and was the 51st person to vote. I thought it was the smoothest and easiest I have ever seen it.

  • Voted at Bancroft Elementary in MtP at around 9AM. Lots of last minute campaigners choking the sidewalks leading to the school entrance but they stayed behind their designated boundary and were not a nuisance. I was in and out in less than 10 mins.

  • I was so excited to be able to vote for Michael Brown for the At-Large Council seat once again. He’s done such a fantastic job this term and will only get better once he has two seats.

  • Voted at Mt. Bethel Baptist Church at 8:50, Took 45 minutes. Although I have been registered for over a year, my name was not in the “book” where you check in. Computers were not working properly at the Special Voting Booth. Had to fill out additional paperwork and wait while the resolved the cpu issue. They ended up doing stuff manually instead. It was the most confusing, time consuming voting experience of my life. I hope my vote is actually counted.

  • “A lot more people than you think can’t get an official government ID.”

    Do you mean illegal aliens?

    The previous owner of my house is still on the registration rolls — 8 years later. Maybe I should go and vote twice using his name — they didn’t ask for ID.

    I voted at Garnet-Paterson Elementary at 11 & S and I was very annoyed by the Gray and Graham electioneers standing right in my path to the door. They break laws why can’t I by voting twice!

    • ID is not required, asking for it is improper and unlawful.

      The previous owner of your house may still live in the neighborhood. If not, that’s a purging problem, not a ID problem.

      Undocumented folks would not be on the voter rolls at all, so I’m not sure what you mean, but lots of elderly folks, homeless folks, folks that don’t drive and don’t work for the government don’t have ID.

      • If you’ve registered to vote, then you must have provided some means of identifying yourself. Homeless, elderly or otherwise.

        If you didn’t register because you have no ID (for whatever reason), then we’re not talking about you. You’re not registered. You’re not voting. End of story… unless, of course, you just show up at the polls and say you’re me. Since they don’t check ID, they have no way of knowing, right? ftw.

  • I voted early but of course still kept getting calls and fliers because they had no way of knowing. I am so glad this will be over one way or another. I haven’t ever been as pestered with campaign calls/fliers as I have this year.

  • I voted for Linda Cropp.

  • I voted at Bell Multi-Cultural at 7 am. Quite a few people in line at that hour. The voting went smoothly, but it’s the first time I had to walk through a metal detector in order to vote (only in DC…). Also, the poll workers had a really poor set-up inside which had people practically falling off the stage as they lined up by last name to sign-in. Hopefully they will figure out that that set-up will have to change or else the presidential election in 2012 will be a disaster.

  • We put much, much too much faith in elected officials in 2010 to solve our own problems and provide for us.

    And what do we do ?

    We seek more of them !

    We don’t need anymore local politicians in this federal city.

    Just be a good neighbor !

    Let’s dump this Home Rule that has been a dismal failure now in its fourth decade..

    Look to our adopted flag, the standard of Mount Vernon, three red stars on a field of white.

    Let’s return to the system of an apolitical administration of our federal city with three gray haired men an women, educated in public administration, appointed by the President of the United States with six year staggered terms to serve as our three commissioners.

    Why do each of our local institutions from the Metropolitan Police Department to the School system fail ?

    Because of these people who make a living with their mouths, the career politicians with which we entrust much, much too much.

    Let’s forget about the last 35 years of Home Rule and remember the nearly two hundred years before when the federal city system of three Presidential appointments first made by George Washington worked !

    It’s not reactionary, nor backwards or foolish thinking.

    It’s right. It’s building upon what was built before this huge mistake.

  • Wrong… Statehood or state adoption is the only acceptable answer.

    Federal areas stay under their control, everything else becomes Maryland since Virginia already took their part back.

  • Voted at Bell Multicultural High School at 10 a.m. No line, but lots of campaigners. Went with my friend who is temporarily handicapped, so getting on the stage was not a good idea. Luckily, there weren’t many people, and an election worker could bring her what she needed.

  • Voted at Marie Reed Learning Center in Ward 1. I was 3rd in line at 7 a.m. When the doors opened and we marched to the usual room, there was only ONE check-in counter. No “A-L”, “M-R” or “S-Z” lines. One sweet elderly lady with 3 books doing her best. Every time I’ve voted in the past I had to sign my name upside-down on my line in the book – but this time she turned each book around so we signed right-side-up. By the time I departed (say 7:20 or so), the line was out the door – and I mean out to the entrance, about 40 yards. I sure hope they got things worked out better for the rest of the day.

  • Just voted at Cesar Chavez Charter School at Kenyon/Sherman around 2pm. No lines, no hassles, no campaigners (though I did see Fenty’s folks still going door-to-door around the neighborhood). The poll workers were helpful and organized, but then again, it was a pretty low-key time of day.

  • Also voted at Marie Reed, and I second o2bncdg’s assessment of the check-in situation. The woman was also asking for ID.

    As I waited in line to check in, I saw a woman in a Vincent Gray shirt walking out of the room where the voting machines were. Isn’t wearing campaign shirts considered electioneering, and shouldn’t someone have told her that she can’t wear that shirt past the line?

    One more thing: I perfer the Opti-Scan cards. I do NOT trust the touch-screen machines for a minute.

    • She didn’t ask for our ID (at least the 1st through 3rd in line because we all presented our voting card before she asked.
      And to those touch-screen machines – like you, I don’t trust them. I won’t use them if I have a choice – not until the ghost of George Bush makes me!!

  • Bear

    Anyone know what I should do if I moved recently? Should I go to my old polling place (not that hard–it’s close) or go to the new one and get my new address registered? What should I bring if it’s the latter? Utility statement?

    • I was in the same boat. I thought I could vote at my new neighborhood’s polling place with a Special Ballot. I just tried to vote at McFarland and was told that I needed to vote at the location I was registered, otherwise “my vote wouldn’t count”.

  • Voted this morning around 730 at Powell School. Electronic voting was down. I completed the ballot manually and was the 52 voter per the machine. Took less than 5 minutes. Lots of signs for both candidates for mayor.

  • Voted at 2:45 at 9th&V. No lines!

  • I voted at Takoma Elementary School (Ward 4) at 1PM. No lines. I was out in 15 minutes. I did find it odd that there was only one electronic voting machine and I had to wait in line (3 people) to use it. God forbid there should be a crowd. All other stations were for paper ballots.

  • Sounds like a fair amount of people had trouble. That’s why I voted early. I went to Judiciary Square on the first day in the evening and there was no line, was done in about 10 minutes.

    It shocks me how few people don’t grasp the concept that the primary is only for you to vote within your party. If you are not affiliated with a party, you don’t vote. I always knew that was a bad idea in DC b/c if you’re not a Democrat, you really don’t have much of a say so in who becomes Mayor and often Councilmember.

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