New York

The Phanton Poll Booths


Learning that an Ohio judge responds to a suit based on affidavits collected from voters waiting in line two, three, four hours by letting people in line vote, as it were “absentee”–by filling out paper ballots while they are still in line–I reflect on the arrogance of the people running the elections in Cuyahoga County. In one precinct I visited, they responded to on-site requests for extra voting booths with the insistence, one volunteer told me, that “technically we have the right amount of booths because it’s supposed to be 125 voters per hour. And that if people are going slow it’s not their problem, and that people should be voting faster. The Board of Elections says that we have more than enough booths, and that people should be voting faster.”

“So there’s some concern about tonight, if people are going to be able to get through it.”

Wise judge. Wise decision. This county made no allowances for the fact that an unprecedented number of people would be voting for the first time this year–13 percent of the voters in the entire state of Ohio, according to NBC.

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