My Voting Experience

We got to our polling place about an hour after it opened. It's the garage of the local water company, so the building isn't very big, but there were about 20 people inside and we had to wait outside (in the cold and rain) for about a minute before the line moved.

All total we waited maybe 20 minutes before it was our turn to vote. There were 4 workers checking people in, one guy managing the machine, and one playing hostess (happily putting the "I voted" stickers on everyone.)

When I put my ballot in, the machine said I was number 95. As we went out the line was probably 20 people long outside the door.

All well and good - for us.

There was an incident that happened while we were there that has me seriously considering contacting the county clerk.

When we came into the building a young Native American woman was having a discussion with the fellow managing the machine. You couldn't help but overhear, as it was getting pretty heated. Apparently the woman had filled in too many circles on the ballot and needed to do another one. They took her back in the line to get a new one (not to the end, jut to the worker who hands out ballots), she waited for a polling table to open and went to fill in the new one. By this point, it was almost my turn. As it turned out, she had filled in the second ballot wrong, stating "I was just checking people I knew". I had a glance at the ballot (sincerely not trying to evade her privacy, but they passed it right in front of my face) I saw that she had filled in almost every circle, including the "Democrat" and "Republican" circles as well as voting for McCain and Obama and two of the independed candidates that were on the ballot.

She asked if she could come back later- but being as she had already signed the book I don't know if they would let her vote again.

I sincerely don't know if the poor woman couldn't read or was just having trouble understanding the ballot or what. Her accent was very heavy and it was apparent English was not her native language. San Juan county has a very large Navajo population, but there are some smaller tribal groups in the area as well. However, no one seemed interested in really helping her. They seemed more interested in just getting rid of her.

I don't know if she came back or not. But I think I will contact the county clerks office. None of the workers there spoke Navajo (if that's what she needed) nor did any of them really seem to want to take the time to read and explain the ballot to her. By law I believe they are required to help those who, for whatever reason, can't read the ballot.

I hope there weren't too many like that. In this county, a handful of votes could have effected the outcome.