Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Old Voting Box

I live in a small town and we tend to do things... the old fashioned way!  This is our ballot box... every ballot is hand cranked into the box and then the counter flips and tells you what voter number you are.  For this presidential election, I was #1184 right around lunch time (last presidential election I was in the mid 300's - and they let my son put the ballot in the box while I snapped the photo!).  Our town had a total of 2187 votes this election - so I would say - a much higher number of voters compared to last election.  Last census said we had 2749 residents and that includes all the children too so I would guess it is a high percentage of registered voters who voted.
But anyway - I know we ALL have heard enough about the election, this post is more about our very old ballot box, which I think is neat.   I know - someday I might be looking at it in a museum and wondering how that happened!  You never think that things you grow up with will end up in a museum.  They gave me permission again this year to take a photo of my ballot going into the box.  At the end of any election (town elections, presidential election, etc.) - all those votes are HANDCOUNTED.  Usually, the newspaper does not have our town results in by press time.  Because - they are still being handcounted.  Well, we don't have to worry about loosing data or malfunctioning machines.
We also still hold "town meetings".  I have mixed feelings about town meeting because these votes are counted by a show of hands. If it is a controversial issue, many people simply will not vote because they know everyone is looking around to see who has their hands up - while the vote counters click their tickers.  This is especially true for the business owners in town who do not want to alienate their lively good for the sake of voting.  However, ballot questions are "secret".  We have some voting booths with dividers in between, but we also have long table with no dividers!  Anyway, I just wanted to share this "living history" photo with you today, now that all the hub-bub has settled down a bit.

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