Now it's your turn

Conley School in Roslindale around 7:30 a.m.Conley School in Roslindale around 7:30 a.m.

Polls opened in Boston this morning with long lines of waiting voters. What are you seeing when you vote? Add a comment.

The Holy Name sign wall in West Roxbury.The Holy Name sign wall in West Roxbury.

A good reason to vote at the Conley.A good reason to vote at the Conley.

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Lines

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Long lines at the Nazzaro community center in the North End as well.

Why are we so much better at this voting thing?

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Granted, 40 minutes on a day like today is a long time (were you inside for most of it, at least?), but compare that to the four-hour waits in places like Ohio and Florida. What are we doing differently?

Good Question

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Perhaps it can be explained simply. Maybe we're a more well-informed electorate, with our minds made up before entering the booth? Maybe we know the ballot questions without having to read the text when we vote? That's my best guess.

Yes, we were inside the whole time. Fantastic poll workers in Watertown, too. They made sure that everybody stood in the correct line for their precinct, so as not to waste time at the front of the line, and were unfailingly polite and helpful in all regards. God bless them.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

Banana Republics

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we also didn't put 11 constitutional amendment questions on the ballot as they did in Florida (an 11 or 12 page ballot?! Are you frickin' kidding me?).

Some of these states are teetering very close to becoming bona fide banana republics if they are not already.

I'd estimate an hour

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At the BPL - we went to vote at 8:30 and decided to take our chances after work instead. Talked to someone who voted at the Brookline library and she said she waited 55 minutes.

Personally I don't know why I can't do this from the comfort of my home and couch on a computer with some form of validation that my vote was recorded properly. Ludicrous.

Better?

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C'mon, this in no way makes us "better" at voting..
Let's get some details before we make assumptions. For instance, how many people can be voting at the same time at these different polling locations? How many polling stations per capita? What is the voting method; is it on screen, written, or hole-punched?
Not to mention people in Ohio and Florida have much more at stake, since the Presidential race could conceivably come down to less than 400 votes in a single district. This means there will be more voters, longer lines, and more attention from the media.
It's my guess that a state like Massachusetts makes it extremely easy to vote. Places like Florida or Ohio, where voter suppression and corruption are more likely, are a different story altogether. It does not mean we are better people, just more fortunate.

Better? Maybe so.

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I'm not sure "suppression" is the best word (nor the worst) to describe some of the tactics, but to the extent that we have less of that and less corruption, then yeah, I'm going to go ahead and say that makes us better because in the end, the people still control the system and vote for the people doing the suppressing and corrupting.

At my polling place, the

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At my polling place, the biggest bottleneck was the check-in line, not getting a booth.

So the problem was the slow poll workers.

Adequate Voting Capacity

MA runs at least a polling location per census tract.

Florida? Ohio? They create effective voter suppression by intentionally lowballing the number of polling stations and their capacity in selected areas. Note that the capacity for voting is also dependent on what neighborhood you are in - the long lines are in the cities, not the suburban and rural areas. Having to take a day off work unpaid to vote is a serious constraint.

It's a voter suppression tactic

In places like Ohio and Florida, corrupt election supervisors and secretaries of state try their hardest to prevent people in certain districts from voting. This is important to them because they are swing states and the officials will get paid off by the national party for doing it.

Setting things up so that voters have to wait in line for four to eight hours or come back multiple times is just one of the tactics - along with fake riots, fiddling with voting machines, throwing out voter registration forms, misdirection of voters, and hazing at the polls.

When you see those long lines, they are long lines of people somebody doesn't want to vote. We don't have that crap here because our state is not run by the gang of old perverts.

Long Lines at the Polls

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The line at in JP was around the block, and serpentined through the Gym.

Shocking sight at Holy Name

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If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it, but the sign holders were actually standing AWAY from the steps into the polling place. Not 150 feet as required by law, but farther away than I've ever seen them. What are they putting in the water in West Roxbury these days?

Bates, too.

Someone commented while we were in line at the Bates school (around 45 minutes? Made friends with the folks around us and said hi to a handful of neighbors) how pleased he was that we weren't being attacked by supporters with signs. Said it was usually like running the gauntlet when coming to Bates to vote.

Couldn't believe how many signs were posted on the high fence at Holy Name. Crazy.

Watertown

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There were NO signholders, anywhere, either when we entered or by the time we came out. I was amazed. On every other election day, when crowds were much slimmer, there have always been at least a couple of campaigners at our polling place. Very odd.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

this is so true!

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They were actually away from the stairs! Crazy! We were at Holy Name at about 8:50am and the line was pretty short, but constant, people kept coming in the door and they moved them along really well.

Terrific work by everyone at the polls. They had volunteers at the door checking your polling location so you could wait in the the correct precinct line.

L St. was the same

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Two precincts vote at the Curley Community Center (nee L St. Bathouse) and for one (7-2) the line was approximately 30 minutes long, and for the other, 7-1, it was about 2 minutes.

Precincts are carved to give approximately the same populations per, right? So whats with the weird difference?

Ball Square, Somerville

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Arrived at 6:55, finished at 7:40. I didn't check the line when I left, but it figures to be at least an hour for those trying to vote before work.

Jackson-Mann in Allston

I arrived at 7:15 and it took half an hour to complete the process. This was unusually busy for the Jackson-Mann, where there is usually no wait at all. It warms my heart.

25 minutes at the KofC in the North End

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There was a 5min delay because the voting machine was jammed. Also, lots of Warren signs taped to the fence 2-3 feet from the steps to the Hall. Are there only restrictions for people holding signs, not the signs themselves?

JP

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The wait was about 30 minutes at the high school at 7:30.

10 minutes in Medford at 8:25

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10 minutes in Medford at 8:25 am. It was busy but not crowded. I was the 166th person to vote, apparently.

However, I didn't get an 'I voted' sticker and I'm a bit peeved at myself that I didn't go and get one.

Where was this?

Friends are reporting big lines at Temple Shalom and West Medford Fire Station.

This was at Mystic Towers,

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This was at Mystic Towers, which is the polling place for Ward 7. It's near the Shaws and Hormel Stadium.

West Medford

I was at the West Medford fire station at around 8:50am this morning. Line not too long. Maybe a 20-25 minute wait? Everyone was nice and friendly.

Honest to Goodness!

The bars weren't open this morning ... must be voting for the president of something ...

I left at 7:00 - same as my neighbor. He got to the polling location (Medford - LMH) and got in line behind me (I biked, he drove but parking was filling up fast!). I got my ballot quickly, but the line to get a booth was out to the door when I got in it ... and well out the door when I left around 7:20. Half the folks on my street had voted by the time I left.

Biking in through Somerville, I saw long lines at the polls. At the fire station on Somerville Ave, a substantial percentage of those in line had "I'm A First Time Voter" buttons. Welcome new Citizens!

Voting

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I was in an out in under 10 minutes in Quincy this morning, right at 9am. Well organized.

Over an hour in Somerville

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This morning I got to Somerville high school at 8, and I was out at 9:20. Most of the time I spent waiting was inside, so it was not bad. I liked watching one of the poll workers give I Voted stickers to kids who were there with their parents.

Same here

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Voted at the Brown School in Somerville, it was about 1 1/2 hours. I was in line at 8:15ish, got my ballot at 9:45. Everyone was generally pleasant though.

no line in Brighton 11:30

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No line at about 11:30 at Another Course to College (formerly the Taft school) in Brighton. Precinct 22-6.

So, We're Looking At 73%? 75%?

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Figure a spike for lunch hour, another after business hours. Pretty high for Boston.

(Of course, less than 95% is shameful anywhere in this country, when you really think about it, but this will beat most recent turnouts by quite a bit.)

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

Realistically...

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Without a real-time system that cross checks people who move and register elsewhere, just move, lapse and/or die, I'm curious what the realistic upper limit would be.

110%?

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Vote early, vote often.

40 minutes in Somerville

I got in the queue at the Lowell St. firehouse in Somerville at 11:42 and was out the door by 12:25. The queue stretched around the corner and a little way up Lowell St. the whole time I was there.

And where are Questions 4 and 5?

I realize they were nonbinding, but I don't see them anywhere on that site.

I had to quickly scan them in the booth, even though I did already go to the site you linked to and read 1,2, and 3.

I voted in Stoneham at 1:00,

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I voted in Stoneham at 1:00, busy and packed but no long wait. We only had 3 ballot questions... I'm curious what's 4 & 5

Speaking for Somerville Ward 2, Pct 3 only

4 was a binding question about levying a 1.5% tax to support the Somerville Community Preservation Act
5 was a non-binding question supporting "Budgeting for All"
6 was a non-binding question supporting taxation of marijuana
7 was a non-binding question supporting repeal of Citizen's United

The Globe had a link to a handy site which showed all the candidates for all offices, plus all local ballot questions, for a given address.

As Mentioned Earlier, Watertown...

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... had Question 4, a non-binding question calling for the state senator to vote for a resolution calling for a whole bunch of stuff government should either do or not do - long list, far too much for one question, IMVHO, so a "No" from me.

... Question 5, non-binding, asking the state rep to propose an amendment to The Constitution limiting campaign financing (already decided by The Supreme Court to be part of Free Speech, and I agree, so I voted "No".)

... Question 6, non-binding, which called for the state rep to agree to the entire package in Question 4 that the state senator was asked to agree to. Another "No" from me.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

Melrose

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I had the "Prioritize Education/Infrastructure/Quality-of-Life items" for #4 and the non-binding resolution against Corporate Personhood (don't recall that it specifically asked for the repeal of Citizens United but it essentially called it out) as #5.

WhereDoIVoteMA.com

had a sample ballot for every voter -- all you had to do was type in your address. The sample ballot included the full text of all binding and non-binding questions applicable to your district.

(Despite its .com suffix, WhereDoIVoteMA.com is an official website of the Mass. Secretary of State.)