The 2004 Election Fiasco Begins

Today I decide to take advantage of early voting while I’m in Denver for a meeting. I stop by a few polling places, but the lines are hours long. Finally I decide to get it over with, and stand in a line through the isles of a Safeway on Federal for over two hours. When I reach the front, the volunteer types at his laptop for a long time. He asks for my driver’s license and makes a phone call. He asks for my social security number. Finally he tells me that despite the fact that I have valid ID and a voter registration card, I cannot vote because I’m no longer in the database. My only option is to visit the Election Commission downtown. I do this, go through a metal detector at the door, and wait in a mercifully shorter line. The woman there verifies that I’m not in the database, and gives me an ’emergency registration’ to fill out. She tells me that they’ve done this for almost 900 people like me – just today. Supposedly I can take my receipt to the polls on Tuesday and cast a provisional ballot.

I’m getting a strong feeling that this whole process is held together with string and tape, and may very well come flying apart on Tuesday.

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