We voted yesterday.
And it was a thoroughly unsatisfying experience.
OK, not thoroughly unsatisfying. We did get to participate in the political process and have our vote count and all that.
But something was missing.
We went to our precinct, signed our name, filled in the little circles and fed the paper ballot through the optical scan machine. And while we know it's progress and we appreciate that the machines are supposed to be more efficient, and yadda yadda yadda -- we were a little bit sad.
We missed the feel of the voting levers, the privacy of the booth with the curtains, and most of all, we missed the great ker-chunk at the end. The sound of voting.
We're not so much complaining as waxing nostalgic. If you've lived in New York for your whole life, the feel of the levers and the ker-chunck of the old voting booths were kind of a connection to the past. Election days, even primary days, felt a little more electric because of this tangible experience. We were voting the way our parents did, and their parents did. It added a little feeling of old school civic duty to our modern world.
In some little tiny way, voting the old way felt like a process that connected us to the act -- that forced us to stop and think about what we were doing just a little bit more before the pulling the lever. Slipping a piece of paper into an optical scan reader felt more like using the office copy machine. Something everyday.
All this is just a long way of saying that we kinda missed the ker-chunk.
We didn't encounter any problems using the new machines, which seemed to be the case for most of the Capital Region (with an occasional rough spot here and there). [TU] [@pattigibbons]
It sounds like things were not so smooth in New York City. Mike Bloomberg described the situation as a "royal screw-up" -- and the problems, gasp, forced Chuck Schumer to wait to vote (a press conference almost broke out). [NYT City Room] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.