The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
November 02, 2004
Alabama | Alabama could have record turnout, even in the rain

I just voted, at the polling place less than half a mile from my house. It’s a recreation center, and it was packed. Cars filled the lot, and some were parking across the street in the high school parking lot.

I talked to the guy who was handling provisional ballots for the polling place, and he said the voting was much higher than it usually is, even for a presidential election. He said that Alabama usually votes at about 50% of registered voters, but he’s hearing the percentage could be as high as 75% today.

He was handling a lot of provisional ballots, which are given to those who say they’re supposed to vote in that polling place but whose names are not on the list there. He said he thought the cause was that the voting districts changed last year, and people who used to vote in the recreation center were supposed to go somewhere else now. He had heard that the state had a high percentage of return on notices sent out to people about the district change, so that may have had an impact.

Alabama votes with paper ballots, at least where I voted. It’s the first time I’ve used a paper ballot. We had to complete an arrow for the selection we wanted. Very straight forward, difficult to do incorrectly and also difficult to make confusing. There was even a diagram at the top showing how to do it. When I turned in my ballot at about 11:45 a.m., the man who stood guard at the machines that take and read the ballots said there had been 700 voters already today.

The rain has slacked off, so maybe the rest of the day will be clear. And that may not matter – it’s apparently been hectic even with the rain. There were two law enforcement officers stationed at the center, a city officer and a county deputy. I’m sure there’ll be no shenanigans in that polling place!

UPDATE: I wrote this about noon, but couldn’t get on at the library to post it. As of 12:20 p.m., when I did finally get home and get it posted, it was raining again. It will be interesting to see if there’s record turnout anyway.

Posted by susanna cornett at November 2, 2004 01:19 PM | TrackBack

In Mobile we are voting on machines. I saw an elderly woman turned away because her name was not on the list for that polling place. Apparently she had been voting there for years but they had changed her polling place to a church about 5 minutes away. They told her where to go but she was pretty upset and I don’t believe she intended to vote elsewhere. I listened to the whole conversation and no one offered or even mentioned a provisional ballot to her.

Posted by: winnie [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 2, 2004 02:32 PM

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