Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On the ground in Oregon, Election Day, First Post


Voting continues to be extremely heavy here in Oregon. I spoke to a young man just now (8:20 a.m. local time) who will dropping off his ballot when he gets off work at 3 p.m. I have been asked to serve the final shift as a poll watcher in the Portland area later today. The rules are that anybody on line by 8 p.m. must be allowed to submit a ballot. I anticipate a late night.

In at least one Oregon county they are geared up to count a heretofore unprecedented number of votes. Extra machines have been brought in and have been tested. They were to be retested at 7 a.m. this morning, zeroed out, and the goal was to begin counting by 8 a.m. Expect a late night from Oregon, and do not trust any projections. Many counties in Oregon are rural and too poor to have extra machines. The voting will take longer there.

So far, I am mightily impressed by the voting set-ups I have been observing. Scrupulous safeguards, many voluntarily undertaken, have been put in place by county election officials to ensure as full, complete, and accurate account as humanly possible.

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