Ballot Receipt, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Digital image, taken Tuesday, November 4, 2008 in Chicago, IL. Privately held by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chicago, IL. 2008.
In an unbroken 27 year tradition for me, and following in the footsteps of my ancestors, I voted here in Chicago this morning.
I arrived about 6:10 at my polling place which opened at 6:00 am and there were already 50 people in front of me. I vote in the 19th precinct of the 46th Ward of the city and my polling place was also shared with the 14th precinct. Since there were many more 19th precinct voters in line, those from the 14th were able to get in and out quickly.
I think the snails pace of the voting (I was the 61st voter after two hours - that means a rate of 30 voters an hour!) is due to a lack of manpower and the poor physical layout of my polling place. When I lived in the 44th Ward, I voted in the lobby of one of the residential high rises along Lake Shore Drive and it was easier to maneuver from the registration area to the booths and then to the scanner which reads the ballot.
In Chicago we had a relatively short ballot with only two referenda (one was to convene a statewide constitutional convention and the other was to allow recall elections for statewide officials) but almost 100 judges had to be confirmed with a yes/no vote.
So now that I have my "I voted" receipt, I am off to Starbucks (giving away a Tall coffee for each voter).