I had a difficult time casting my primary votes this morning. First, the poll workers weren’t sure how to switch my declared party, but they eventually found the form. I didn’t really understand how this form correlated with switching parties since it was rather cryptic, but I trusted the poll workers. However, I was worried my vote wouldn’t count after they thought they had to perform another step, but couldn’t recall what it was.

Once we succeeded in getting past the paper work it was time for the poll worker to setup the Diebold voting machine. They scanned my voting card (which was shaped like a credit card) using a handheld device that looked like a VPN dongle on steroids. They hit the create button and it did its magic. However, when the poll worker inserted the card into the voting machine an error message resulted. It basically said that the voting card had been cleared and to remove it. The poll worker tried again and the same message resulted. The poll worker tried a third time and it worked. Please note that I did not touch anything during this process.

I voted and started to print the paper tally. The printer inside my voting machine sounded like an ancient dot matrix printer times ten. I guess I should have brought ear plugs with me. OSHA wouldn’t have stood for this noise level in a refinery without hearing protection. I printed the second page and it continued to rock the room. Afterward, the poll workers told me that I was the second person to vote using that particular voting machine and that they too had problems. They had three more machines next to it, and I thought about asking them why they didn’t have me use another machine. However, I didn’t have much time since my voter experience took so long, so I left feeling uneasy.

I was happy that I could see a valid paper trail was printed that reflected my votes. However, I worry about extra votes that could be added to make my vote mute. BTW, I am not the only person that thinks Diebold voting machines are insecure and unreliable pieces of junk.