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02 November 2010

They changed my polling place since I last voted. Here's how I found the new one.
That's wonderful. And I love how it formats the answer.

My polling place is a church, which I think is a little weird in a nonseparation-of-church-and-state kind of way.
posted by JanetLand 02 November | 07:22
Last week when I voted in the Toronto muncipal election I found I was on the election roll twice. My other personality must have registered behind my back.
posted by Orange Swan 02 November | 07:48
I've been using Google Vote.
posted by enn 02 November | 08:20
I was kind of impressed by the changes this time around for the municipal election in the town where I live. This time, we could go to any voting place in the town, rather than having to go to one specific one. They had the voters list online so that once you voted at one place, all the others would see that you had already voted.

On the other hand, it was sort of amusing and sort of depressing how many people took the trouble to actually go to a voting place, only to turn around and leave when they saw 100 people in line. But the line moved so fast that it was literally no more than 10 minutes before I was out of there again.

The parking lot at the community center where I went to vote was totally crazy. By the time I came out, every space was full and people were just stopped everywhere waiting for someone to leave. News flash: you cannot have my spot if you are blocking me in it so that I can't leave!

There was some disappointment that voter turnout was only 27% this time, only up slightly from 25% last time, despite efforts to increase it. But it would have been a disaster, logistically, if turnout had doubled.
posted by FishBike 02 November | 08:39
There's no way that you could vote here at a different polling place. They have to find the little index card with your name on it and mark that you voted and there's only one index card per person. And doing that is hard enough since the lady digging through the stack of cards is 95 years old, stone deaf and mostly blind. I had to yell the spelling of my last name three times and my last name is as common as Jones so it's not a hard one.
posted by octothorpe 02 November | 10:20
I voted absentee, since my health keeps me from driving. Much easier than trying to find a ride there and back.
posted by galadriel 02 November | 10:37
Thanks to this fucking link I fucking knew the right fucking place to go and fucking vote. Thanks a fucking lot for fucking posting it, and I really fucking mean it.
posted by apoch 02 November | 10:45
There was an awful situation in the general election in the UK earlier this year - polling stations here close at 10pm, and in some constituencies people were still in lines outside waiting to vote at 10pm, and some were turned away. I don't know why this hasn't happened previously, and if it has happened before, why nothing has been put in place to deal with such a situation.

Does anyone know how it works in other countries?
posted by altolinguistic 02 November | 10:51
In Canada, the Canada Elections Act 153.(2) says:

"An elector who is entitled to vote at a polling station and who is in the polling station or in line at the door at the close of voting hours shall be allowed to vote."
posted by FishBike 02 November | 12:00
Just got back from voting. My polling place was busier than I've ever seen it.

My son was a first-time voter today, so all the little old ladies smiled appreciatively at him. He pronounced the experience "kind of boring" and my husband said "Well, we're excited for you anyway, so there!" lol
posted by amyms 02 November | 12:11
My polling place is the Madison Fucking Public Library! HUZZAH!

Actually, we live across from the clerk's office, so I should have just gone there for early voting :P
posted by Madamina 02 November | 12:14
I received a letter from the registrar several weeks ago stating that there weren't enough registered voters for my neighborhood to rate a polling place. I find that odd as I live in the 'burbs what with election sign battles raging from yard to yard and the last time I voted in person (before switching to permanent absentee ballot status) the line was very long and it was a 45 minutes wait to get to the booth. I wonder if the lack of polling place has more to do with absentee ballots or the lack of poll place volunteers? No idea, but the linked site tells me, "Fuck off...I can't find your fucking polling location."
posted by jamaro 02 November | 14:43
I just wrote myself a note so I don't forget to vote on the way home from work tonight.
posted by amro 02 November | 15:03
We vote by mail in our county. Ergo I too got this message: Fuck off...I can't find your fucking polling location.

Will someone explain to me why the US makes it SO HARD to vote in most places? Why can't we let people vote on the weekend, for example?
posted by bearwife 02 November | 15:40
I just got it over with, it was at a new place for me, but they are always churches around here, unless you get a school, I suppose.
posted by ethylene 02 November | 15:51
Why on Tuesday?

In 1845, and for many years after that, only the county seats had a polling places. For many voters, this meant at least an overnight trip on horseback or buggy. If the election were held on Monday, people would have to leave on Sunday, which in 1845, was reserved for church.
posted by octothorpe 02 November | 16:11
Why can't we let people vote on the weekend, for example?
In Australia, polling is always on a Saturday. I don't know how people manage to get their vote in when it's on a workday, especially if you have to attend a specific booth. But then, voting is compulsory, so I guess it has to be made easier if they are going to fine you for not voting.
posted by dg 02 November | 16:31
I assume that we don't vote on Saturday/Sunday because it would conflict with church/synagogue attendance on respective Sabbaths. A lot of polling places are in houses of worship so they've have to find other venues to hold the election in.
posted by octothorpe 02 November | 17:45
Our polling places are always schools, which solves that problem nicely.
posted by dg 02 November | 18:06
Many of the states have laws that require employers to allow employees time to vote. some of those are paid, some are not.


my favorites are Minnesota (you are allowed to take the morning off on election day to vote) and Puerto Rico (election day is a legal holiday!)
posted by argentcorvid 02 November | 18:12
Using my mum's address:

You can vote at these fucking locations:

Fuck off...I can't find your fucking polling location.

Look for your fucking polling place, again? I apparently have nothing better to do than help your ass all fucking day.

That's okay, she doesn't vote any way.
posted by deborah 02 November | 20:17
But then, voting is compulsory, so I guess it has to be made easier if they are going to fine you for not voting.

dg, wow I'm trying to wrap my head around that. So what's the percentage of people who vote? How much is the fine? Is that for all elections - local and national?
posted by nelvana 02 November | 22:13
Yes, that applies to local, state and federal elections. It's mandatory to be on the electoral roll and mandatory to vote. There seems to be quite a bit of data matching done in that, if an address is identified with nobody on the electoral roll, the residents are contacted to find out if there should be someone enrolled.

We recently suffered through a federal election and the voter turnout figures are available here (93.22% overall). Voting at federal elections has been compulsory since 1924. Anyone who is unable to provide a valid and sufficient reason for failure to vote and who does not wish to have the matter dealt with by a Magistrates Court may pay a penalty of $20.

If an elector who has failed to vote refuses to pay the $20 penalty, then the matter may be referred to a Magistrates Court, where a fine of $50 plus costs may be ordered on conviction. Anyone who chooses not to pay the court-ordered fine will be dealt with by the Court accordingly, and this may involve community service orders, seizure of goods, or one or two days in jail (source).

If you are really interested, there's lots of info here (.pdf).

posted by dg 03 November | 02:59
Thanks for the information, dg. I had never heard of this before. It's an interesting idea.
posted by nelvana 04 November | 00:10
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