November 8th, 2006

on NB

Too good to be true?

I think this election may be too good to be true- and in any case, I recall the euphoria when Blair beat the Tories, and now look at him.

I was a poll worker yesterday, in a precinct where we had about 296 people vote out of just under 1000 in the precinct, BUT we also took in 142 absentee ballots, and saw that in some cases 10 out of 12 voters on a page of the roster had absentee ballots.
We used paper ballots fed into a scanner, which worked very well. We had one touch-screen voting machine, (with a disabled sticker on it), but no one used it.

The Inspector really hadn't prepared, and since I was just the Judge (not in charge, but trained), I hadn't really prepared either.

Since this was our first election with the new Sequoia systems, we both should have been more active. I pretty well caught up during the day (and brought the useful, but not officially supplied, extension cords for setting up), so was driving the poll at the end.
It was amusing to try to follow the procedures for closing, since various bags just weren't big enough for the items that were supposed to be in them.

We found a sheet among the piles of documents we were given with a warning about the infamous big yellow button on the touchscreen (I was the only one who knew about it before), and a warning that some poll workers had declared that they didn't trust the scanner, and so were planning to put all the paper ballots in the ballot box (where we put absentee, provisional and unscanned paper ballots(1)). We were told not to do this.

On other fronts, a one-person play called "Dream House" worked very well, and is recommended. On the other hand, "Criminal Genius" in Oakland didn't and isn't. My response was that I was glad that these losers ended up as they did. And I got a free ticket to "Doubt" through TBA for this afternoon, and liked it a lot.

I'm doing a lot of electronics work, such as building one of these-, and have just bought a collectible 40 year-old ham receiver after looking for a couple of years for one worth getting. It was the first transistorised high quality communications receiver, and I wanted one very much when it came out. But I was in the Navy and it was pretty expensive by those standards. About 600 were made, and apparently a number were bought by the government and later junked.

Arrangements have settled down, and I'm going to India, to Lakshadweep, in January, probably leaving close after NY Day and back home a month later. And another Pacific island trip is in the works for next fall, leaving from Samoa, with Swain's Island the primary destination, and Tokelau and Central Kiribati possibilities.

1. If the power failed or the scanner failed, we could end up with unscanned paper ballots, which would be scanned an counted later.
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