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Mon Oct 31, 2016, 04:54 PM

Smooth sailing here with early voting... so far!

One of the advantages of being semi-retired is getting Mondays off, so I put my morning to good use by casting my ballot.

My particular multi-precinct polling site is in a very diverse neighborhood, so I didn't know what to expect, (one very good reason to early-vote on a weekday). Despite some lame-ass parking by other voters, this was Minute-Rice-perfect for me. No lines, no waiting, but most especially no hassles. There were two young gentlemen in the library's foyer, attired in day-glo orange vests -- hard to miss, even for those voters still squinting after walking from Florida's clichéd bright sunlight to the fluorescence of late-20th-Century public-space architecture. The implicit message here: any self-appointed, Drumpf-ster Divers, presumably sent there to monitor voting were not welcome there.

Everything -- except the paper ballot -- has been automated here. Check-In involved handing my driver's license at the first table (did I already mention "no lines, no waiting"?). The poll-worker swiped my ID into her terminal, asked if anything had changed, made me sign on an attached device, and -- once I checked-out, as who I said I was -- handed me my thermal-printed, bar-coded receipt, inscribed with a number in large, bold type. On to step two.

The worker at the next stop took my "receipt" and stood by a laser printer, waiting for my very-own ballot to print out. It, too, was inscribed with my magical vote number. Fill in the bubbles for each candidate or referendum item, scan it and walk away.

Un-harassed. Un-challenged. Un-impeded.
Is "white privilege" hyphenated?

What troubles me now is the automation bit. Essentially, it identified who I am with the ballot I cast. So much for secret ballots. I get it: we want to avoid multiple votes cast by the same voter, but where else are these data used?!?

OK, no screens that switch from one candidate/referendum to another. But still, in a deeply Red state, how am I assured that the above-mentioned voter number won't be misused to either void my ballot, whether his whim is based on party-affiliation, demographic or just simply because the Supervisor of Elections here in ultra-Red Duval County doesn't like the cut of my jib, or doesn't care for how the early voting results are going?

What's to stop him or one of his drones from negating my ballot -- and hundreds of thousands of others -- because they don't like how things are trending, while counting on avoidance of a manual recount?

Nothing but our perseverance and determination. In numbers that overwhelmingly express our desire to avoid the nightmare that is Drumpf and the continued gridlock on Capitol Hill.

Vote.

Demand accountability.



And, yes, I voted straight Democratic Party for the candidates and in favor of the other ballot issues that aligned with policies favored by -- or at least leaning toward -- those of our Party.

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