No, I'm not talking about the results, though they certainly do not make me happy. I'm talking about the voting experience. Yesterday was the first time I used an optical scanner to vote. As an educated person who has voted for decades, I have to say I was flummoxed.
I went to the gym of my kids' old elementary school as usual. Headed over to the "District 12" table as I do every year. Then things changed. I was handed an enormous paper ballot, along with a big piece of laminated cardboard which I was told was my "privacy shield."
They told me to mark the circles next to the candidates I chose. I asked if I could borrow a pen. They were horrified and explained I could only use the official pens at the "voting stations" - which looked kind of like those stand up tables you have to use when all the seats are gone at Starbucks. "OK, so I just check the circle with the pen?" No, no, they explained - you fill in the circle, but don't go outside the lines. Honest to God, it was like being in 3rd grade.
I never did figure out the "privacy shield" as you couldn't possibly fill out the ballot if you used it. Unless you were somehow supposed to reach over it. Once I filled out my form, the person next to the scanner asked if I'd like her to feed it into the machine, shredding was little sense of remaining privacy I had about casting my vote.
It made me long for the little booths with the levers and the curtains.