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9:36am on Tuesday, 4th November, 2008:

Voting Lines


It's election day in the USA. OK, so actually it's only election day in about six states — the rest are sewn up and don't matter — but plenty of people seem to want to vote.

From a UK perspective, one of the strangest things about the US electoral process is that in some places people apparently have to stand in line for four hours before they get to vote.

What? Four hours? To vote? How come? I know voting forms in the USA are huge by UK standards, because Americans get to vote for president, congressional representative, attorney general, state treasurer, chief of police, head of school district, deputy coastguard, senior street sign polisher, ... They also have to approve or disapprove of a long list of propositions of befuddling complexity on issues they have no opinion on, but won't know that until they've tried to make sense of what it is they're being asked about. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that voting should entail a four-hour queue.

What it means is that they need more polling stations.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).