Though turnout in our precinct is way above average today — at 4:20pm, I was voter 921 in a precinct with 1,400 registered voters — I was relieved to see there were only a half-dozen people in line ahead of me. I waited 10 minutes, then it took less than 5 to cast my ballot, even with all the propositions, referenda, and constitutional amendments.
My wife arrived at the polling place at 7:25am, and was out by 7:45, but she talked to some other people who had lined up before the doors opened at 6am, and then had to wait for over an hour for everyone in the line to move through.
It would have gone faster if I’d chosen the optical scan ballot instead of the touch screen. There were ten booths for the paper ballots, but only three touch screens, which most of us wanted to use — thus the line. With more voters who are comfortable with techonology joining the voter rolls with each election, our precinct (and others) will have to invest in more touch screens for future campaigns.
Eight years ago, I laid out a plan to use technology to modernize the election process and make voting easier for everyone. Sadly, while 30 other states now allow early voting by mail and in person, there’s been no indication that Missouri election officials are moving in that direction.