Voting Lines OK With Winnebago

Winnebago county auditor Jen Fqelstad told the local newspaper that she’s not bothered by the lines at her polling places. Voters had to wait for each other to use the touchscreen terminals because that is all they use in Winnebago county:

. . . Fjelstad said she felt the election went well, especially considering it was the first major election in which the new touch-screen voting machines were used.

“There were lines, but people have to realize there were lines before, too,” she said before adding that the county surpassed state code for the number of machines it must have on hand.

Under state law, polls must have at least one voting booth for every 350 voters who cast ballots in the last election. Fjelstad said the county had one machine for every 250 registered voters in each precinct.

I don’t know why “there were lines before.” In the past the county had paper ballots. They must have had a slow sign-in process at the polls, or were too cheap to set up enough voting booths.

Turnout this time was 50 percent. Expect longer lines in 2008. Plan to vote absentee or to ask for one of the emergency paper ballots that are available at every poll. Either way, your vote will be on paper. You’ll be protected from the fiasco currently playing out in Florida.

One Response to “Voting Lines OK With Winnebago”

  1. Brian Says:

    I vote on paper ballots (in Michigan) and when I went to vote just after lunch time I had to wait about 15 minutes for a booth to open up. In Michigan if you complete your ballot while not in a booth election workers are required to void the ballot and offer you a new one. I saw this happen when a woman sat down in the corner of the room and started marking her ballot. She looked like she probably was on her way back to work, but they took her ballot and issued her a new one and made her wait in line.

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