There's gotta be a better way

November 4, 2008
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We live in the country that invented the light bulb, put a man on the moon and cracked the human genome, but we’re still standing in line to vote.

Election Day is evolving into Election Month as more people make decisions early. Still, judging from early anecdotal evidence, you probably had to wait to vote today.

What could be done to improve the process?

  • Given the historic nature of this election, I don't see why they couldn't have held voting in large school gymnasiums or churches instead of some of the ridiculously small venues. For example, my voting site in Fishers is an old one-room school house that's been converted into a municipal building. Luckily I voted early because when I drove by at 6:10 a.m. the parking lot was already full and poll workers were diverting people to parking at the Marsh across 116th St.
  • I don't mind waiting in line for a short time; however, the voting machine wasn't working at all at the precinct on the city's far west side in Clermont. More than a few voters were concerns. We slid our ballots into the machine slot below where we normally would insert them to be counted. Poll workers said they'd be scanned later when someone got the machine working. I asked if the clerk's office knew and the poll worker said, Oh yes, they've known since 5:30 this morning.

    I've lived in a few places in Indiana and voted using levers, punch cards, and fill in the circles. I've never had to wait too long, and it's always been kind of fun to see democracy at work.
  • I woke up early got to my voting place on the south side (Keeneland crest Community location) and the line was not extremely long, but it took me 45 minutes from joining the queue to the last bubble filled in on the ballot. I am not complaining, just stating that it could be worse. it could be raining (like 2004) or hailing or worse, a freak snow storm.
  • Someone....SOMEONE has to come up with a way for electronic voting or online voting. I mean, we have an entire Social Security System on Computers, the Treasury and everything else that seems to rarely - if ever at all get hacked. Why can't the election results stay behind that protection and we vote. Then we could have instant results of the election because its electronic and run through a government network.

    You'll see similiar record voting numbers - if not more and you have, I see, a better opportunity for people overseas to vote as well.

    The IU Trustee election is done through mail-in or online voting - granted, it's just the trustees, but there has got to be some way.
  • I voted at 6:05 a.m. It's amazing how many people crawled out of the woodwork to vote today. Where have these people been all these years. Almost every person in line was over 30.
  • 1 hour & 50 minutes to get through the voting process this morning. Johnson County - Pleasant Township

    Venue was large enough for the 3 precincts, however 1 precinct no line, 1 precinct had about 1/3 the amount of people, and my precinct had a line that stretched out of the voting area, down a long haul, and then down another.

    Inside the voting area, only 6 machines were available for each precinct - surely there is a way to match voting populations for a precinct and obtain an adequate number of voting machines. Better yet, do we really need to dedicate machines to an individual precinct, why can't they be programmed to allow multiple precints?

    I waited it out but saw others leave, maybe to try again later but there has to be a better way to manage large turnouts.

    The people working were great but the lack of adequate voting machines was ridiculous.
  • No problems and no lines in Hancock County today. We use fill-in-the-bubbles paper ballots.

    I don't really understand why people complain about having to be inconvenienced with lines, though. So much of the world would give anything to be able to stand in lines and vote for their leaders. Maybe we should make Election Day a national holiday so that everyone would have all day to vote. Then again, I wonder if it would make a difference. This time around, you could vote early if today was going to be inconvenient.
  • What about 100% vote-by-mail like they do in Oregon? I like the idea of having a couple of weeks' window to vote in the privacy of my home whenever I'm ready.
  • Everybody has the option to vote by mail - its called absentee ballots.
  • Greenwood Voter hits the nail on the head. I also voted in Greenwood and had a similar experience. Four precincts were located in the same polling location with 6 mahcines each. Two precincts had long lines. The other two had no lines at all. Thus, 12 machines were sitting there practically unused while people waited in a line at least fifty people deep to use the other 12 machines. I cannot understand why modern voting machines cannot be used to record votes for more than one precinct? Why are people standing in line staring at empty voting machines? The machines need to be cabaple of accurately displaying more than one ballot and recording votes for different precincts. We could then combine 3-5 precincts per voting location, still have people register at the appropriate table based on precinct and then the poll worker sets the next available machine for that precinct's ballot and allows the person to vote. All voters at the one location can then use all twenty four machines and no machine sits empty.
  • Make election day a national holiday. Move it to the weekend. Allow actual voting over several days. The popularity of early voting has shown that elections on Tuesday are only for farmers in the 1900's.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.