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View Poll Results: Will the FL voting machines work?
YES 6 40.00%
NO 9 60.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 11-07-2002, 10:54 PM   #46
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Thanks for the links, deep. I agree that such problems need to be corrected; we seem to have had a problem in reporting numbers to the media here in Alabama for the Governor's race, and the incumbent Governor wants to use the unofficial numbers (which put him inthe lead).

It is interesting that you suggest exit polling. I recall in 2000 that lot of voters in Northwest Florida's Panhandle (CENTRAL timezone) said that they decided NOT to go vote because exit polling results and early returns from the Eastern part of the state (EASTERN time zone) were indicating a Gore landslide (the Panhandle is largely conservative - 80% Bush support in some areas). In that case, they (and the Republicans) could also claim that manipulation affects the outcome.

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Old 11-07-2002, 11:26 PM   #47
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I think no polling results should be released until all polls are closed in that state, maybe even the west coast. There have been problems in CA with the presidential election called before our polls have closed.

Your Dem Governor lost the election. I hope it is medical marijuana he is smoking.

What if he and a corrupt machine said he won with 58% of the vote. And there was no exit polling and the vote was touch screen with no ballots for a verification or recount.
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Old 11-07-2002, 11:54 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I think no polling results should be released until all polls are closed in that state, maybe even the west coast. There have been problems in CA with the presidential election called before our polls have closed.

Your Dem Governor lost the election. I hope it is medical marijuana he is smoking.

What if he and a corrupt machine said he won with 58% of the vote. And there was no exit polling and the vote was touch screen with no ballots for a verification or recount.
Witholding the results untill all polls close is a very good compromise; I am all for doing it that way.

Regarding our Governor's race, the incumbent Democrat said Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, when it appeared that he had won by a slim margin (3,000+/- votes), that he hoped that Bob Riley, the Republican challenger, would NOT challenge the results and would accept the apparent defeat and "not put the people of Alabama through the turmoil of a challenge/recount, etc."

Funny thing is, once the official results came out Wednesday morning and it gave Riley the victory by the same margin (3,000 +/- votes), Seigelman chose to challenge it and have every ballot in every precinct in every county re-counted.

Obviously, the media is making comparisons to Florida's Presidential results of 2000; Seigelman's press secretary served a similar role to Gore's campaign and worked in their Florida recount process.

I am a bit apprehensive towards totally electronic voting - such as touch-screen, where there is no back-up documentation. And in Alabama, there is more than one kind of "corrupt machine" involved inelections.

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Old 11-08-2002, 05:13 PM   #49
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article from TAP....


Insight from a pollworker, albeit CA.


Diary of a Poll Worker
A day at the ballot box embodies both the idealism and imperfection of American democracy at work.

By Adam Christian
Web Exclusive: 11.7.02
Print Friendly | Email Article

Enticed by the offer of a $100 stipend, I signed up a few weeks ago with the Registrar of Voters in Los Angeles County to become a poll worker on election day. As a recent college graduate working an unpaid internship at a production company in Hollywood, I figured the experience would offer a good opportunity to earn some extra spending money. Of course, as I soon figured out, the stipend, spread out over 15 hours, amounts to less than the minimum wage. So my real motivation for working on election day would be to fulfill a sense of civic duty -- and simultaneously satisfy my curiosity about how the mechanics of a democracy really work, all the way down at the level of punch cards and chads.

Despite lacking any prior election experience, I was assigned by the county registrar to the highest post there is: inspector. This meant that I was in charge of opening and closing the polls, managing three election clerks and arbitrating often-murky cases of voter eligibility. A few days before the vote, I attended a pre-election training class at Hebrew Union College in downtown Los Angeles. For an hour and a half, I listened to an energetic, spastic man speak to us about voting procedures. Like a motivational speaker, he circulated around the room with a wireless microphone and did his best to raise our level of enthusiasm. Thanks to him, I learned how to dislodge faulty punch-card ballots from voting machines -- but not much else. Many in the room appeared to be recently naturalized citizens with little grasp of English. An official Korean translator stood by to explain the main points of the class to a cluster of aspiring poll workers huddled in one part of the room.

Supposedly, poll workers must meet three requirements to work on election day in Los Angeles County: They must be citizens of the United States, registered voters and at least 18 years old. To my knowledge, none of these requirements was ever checked in my case. During the training class, the speaker reiterated these stipulations, prompting a woman in her 40s to call out from the back of the room that her 13-year-old son had worked during the gubernatorial primaries in March. "He must have been a great helper and volunteer!" the trainer responded."No, my son got paid by the county!" the woman exclaimed. Given the desperate need for bilingual poll workers -- and poll workers in general -- in a city as geographically massive and linguistically diverse as Los Angeles, the country registrar appears not averse to letting some requirements fall by the wayside.

About a week before Nov. 5, all the ballot supplies and punch-card voting machines arrived at my apartment. They came packed in a cumbersome black box weighing about 70 pounds. The night before election day, I spent a few hours studying the What-to-do-if guide -- which anticipates possible scenarios that would require a voter to cast a provisional ballot. In reading the manual, I learned that I am allowed to ask a voter for identification only if he or she has moved into the precinct and failed to re-register. The voter must then show two documents demonstrating proof of current residency. The next day I found that most voters automatically present their driver's licenses, whether I asked or not. One young woman was shocked when I told her that I was in fact not allowed to request identification. "But that's crazy," she said indignantly. "What's to prevent the wrong people from voting?"

On the morning of election day, at approximately 6:30 a.m., I arrived at my polling location, the lobby of an Orthodox Jewish high school in my neighborhood. Legally, the polls must open at 7 a.m. I set up a row of voting booths, which barely stood up on their rickety wood frames, and fastened the punch-card machines to the booths. Three other poll workers had also been assigned to this location. None showed up.

The first voter arrived at 6:45 a.m. while I was still setting up. During the first three hours, I was completely alone in running the polls. More than one-third of the total turnout passed through the voting booths during this morning period. For the most part, the voters were understanding and pleasant. One woman offered to bring me lunch and returned later with several bottles of water. Another lent me her cell phone so I could call the election hotline and report the absence of the three other workers.

Finally, around 10:30 a.m., two black women, Betty and her daughter Jacqueline, arrived as replacements for the delinquent election clerks. An interesting dynamic unfolded once they showed up: Whereas I had been running the entire operation by myself, the three of us set up an assembly-line system in which a voter would first sign the roster with me, then tell his or her address to Jacqueline, and finally return the ballot to Betty. Despite my proximity to the entrance of the polling place, many black voters would bypass me and address themselves directly to either Betty or Jacqueline. Betty leaned over to me at one point and joked, "They're afraid of you. They're thinking, 'Talk to the black people.' " After this experience, it is much easier for me to understand the racial politics of voter intimidation. I would not describe myself as physically imposing, but apparently the mere presence of a white person at the polling place was enough to make some voters feel uncomfortable.

During the course of the day, I kept a journal, jotting notes to myself whenever we were lucky enough to have a lull. Still, a certain part of me regretted these periods of quiet. My intuition told me that turnout was severely lagging. Too many lines on the roster had yet to be filled with signatures. In the end, about 350 of 860 registered voters showed up at the polls in my precinct -- a turnout of about 41 percent.

Here is some of what I observed:

8:15 a.m.: A man dressed in a suit asks me whom the other poll workers were supposed to be. I surrender a sheet, sent to me by the county registrar, with their names and phone numbers printed on it. He reaches for his cell phone and calls them on my behalf. At first the man's intentions seem benevolent, but he turns out to be suspicious of the fact that I am alone. "This is bad," he tells me, "You can do anything you want with those ballots."

9:45 a.m.: After checking the roster several times, I cannot find the name of an elderly black woman, despite her claim that she has been voting in the same location for the past 15 years. I offer the woman a provisional ballot but she refuses. "This is a Bush tactic!" she shouts at me, convinced that I am deliberately attempting to disenfranchise her. Finally, we find the name in the roster: Her middle and last names had been switched in the entry.

9:55 a.m.: I offer a young, stylishly dressed woman an "I Voted" sticker. "Sure . . . I'll be self-righteous about it," she replies. Other voters tell me they relish the shame that the sticker will allow them to inflict on their fellow citizens and colleagues -- many of whom do not plan to vote.

12:55 p.m.: A man tells us "You're doing the Lord's work." Sitting in the lobby of an Orthodox Jewish high school, I consider the irony of his statement.

3:20 p.m.: An elderly black woman with poor vision requests assistance. She leans on my shoulder and confesses: "I'm afraid I'll accidentally vote for a Republican." During the day, other voters occasionally attempt to elicit our partisan sentiments by commiserating about candidates or issues. In these situations, I transform myself into the role of the neutral, colorless poll worker, consciously fighting against my impulse to agree or disagree.

5:10 p.m.: Before a voter drops her ballot in the black box, I caution against hanging chads. A young woman elegantly dressed in pink leans over and whispers into my ear, "I'm from Florida, where 'chad' is a bad word."

6 p.m.: At the peak hour of voting, I see out of the corner of my eye a woman growing impatient in the queue. She is about to turn around and leave when I raise my voice. "Ma'am, I will be with you in just a moment," I call out. It occurs to me that some people equate waiting in line for voting with waiting in line for a cup of Starbucks coffee: They are the customers and expect quick, efficient service. For me, the woman's impatience encapsulates the entire problem of American attitudes toward government. Voting has become simply another consumer transaction: We seek to be free from the "hassle" of the very government that makes our freedom possible.

In the end, the experience of being a poll worker spoke volumes to me about the competing realities of social solidarity and alienation. In principle, voting is one of the few collective, communal experiences that brings people together as citizens (another is the military). In the anonymity of a large city such as Los Angeles, the voters who live in our own neighborhoods are, however, mostly unknown entities. Apart from a few spontaneous reunions in which people voting at the same time happened to recognize and greet each other, I witnessed little spirit of community. From the perspective of the poll worker, the names on the roster provided the only interface of contact. Throughout the day, Betty, Jacqueline and I found ourselves curious about the individual voters we were processing en masse. Their imagined lives and backgrounds became the subject of our gossip and runaway speculation. One woman reported a name change: "Doris Quinteros" had become "Isabella Quinn." Is she an actress? we wondered. We debated the merits of the change: Would Isabella Quinn look better on movie posters than Doris Quinteros?

Working the polls kept me oddly insulated from the barrage of media speculation that filled the airwaves throughout the day. Making it possible for hundreds of people to vote was such an exhausting task that the concept of election results seemed too remote to contemplate. At the end of the evening, it was almost surreal to watch the outcome of the 2002 election unfold on television -- the election that I helped officiate. And after a day at the polls, it was impossible not to marvel at the aura of authority the mainstream media lends to its reporting of an imprecise and often chaotic process -- one that embodies the great idealism of American democracy, to be sure, but also points to the many practical imperfections. Call it the "Lord's work" if you want. But the people who do it are human indeed.

Adam Christian is a recent graduate of Harvard and the Sorbonne. He is currently an intern at Réperage, a production company in Los Angeles.


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Old 11-10-2002, 03:33 PM   #50
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2004 Bush - Eminem ...can't lose, forget Rudy

Finally a little clarity on the U. S. elections. The mindset of the American people is further explained at the box office. Americans voting at the polling booth and ticket booth.

Quote:
Fat Weekend for Slim Shady: Eminem's $54 Million 'Mile'
by Brandon Gray
November 10, 2002


HOLLYWOOD (Box Office Mojo) - More people saw the big screen debut of Eminem in its first weekend than have purchased his last blockbuster CD as the controversial rapper achieved that rare feat -- he made the transition from music superstardom to movie superstardom. What's more, he did it an spectacularly unprecedented way.
The $41 million semi-autobiographical drama 8 Mile went the distance for Universal Pictures with an estimated $54,464,000 weekend at 2,470 theaters. Based on current ticket prices, approximately 8 million people saw the picture in three days, compared to the estimated 7 million that have purchased "The Eminem Show," the top selling album of the past two years.
"That's my quote, 'Wow,'" said an ecstatic Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution. "My hopes were $25-30 million. I'd have been a happy camper with that." Tracking figures indicated high interest and awareness going into the weekend, but it wasn't clear if that was real demand or just because of Eminem's name recognition.
According to studio exit polling, 86% of moviegoers marked the top two boxes "excellent" and "very good," and 67% rated it a "definite recommend." A whopping 69% of the audience was under the age of 25, so it skewed just slightly older that other MTV favorite in the marketplace Jackass: The Movie. Universal noted that moviegoers were ethnically diverse with blacks making up 26% and Hispanics 20%.
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