What I hate about voting....

<p>In order to vote, I have to walk past dozens of people holding signs along the sidewalk leading up to the school, our polling place. I've lived in other states where they make these people stand across the street or at least 100 feet away from the doors to the polling place. How is it in your state? What problems have you encountered?</p>

<p>None - I always vote by mail.</p>

<p>If I had to walk by idiots with placards next to a voting station I'd probably find it amusing and enjoy voting even more if I had the opposite view to theirs.</p>

<p>Note - I apply the 'idiot' attribute to whoever's doing that - whether I agree with their side or not since I think it's a waste of their time and energy since I doubt many people are going to change their vote just because they saw a sign by their voting place. If it gets nasty to the point of intimidation that might cause one to be fearful to vote at all, then I think they need to be arrested.</p>

<p>We vote by mail, but the idiotic "placards" still sneak inside our house - in the form of TV ads. If I see one more Yes or No on the Booze initiative, I'm going to puke.</p>

<p>Its my husband's favorite part. He is so darn passive aggressive in that situation. He goes up to everyone he is NOT voting for and tells them why. It takes him at least 2 hours to vote, with the process itself taking maybe 5 minutes.</p>

<p>I'm very involved in politics, having been a campaign manager in a local election. I have been one of those "idiots" who stand outside the polling location with signs. In my state, we cannot get within 100' of the polling place. Believe me, campaigns don't do anything that hasn't been proven to work. There are people who are influenced by the signs they see on the way in. I think many of you would be surprised how many people make up their minds once they get inside.</p>

<p>I don't like the voting process but voting by mail always makes me nervous that somehow or other my vote won't get processed. I think I'm at least of average IQ but I invariably get completely confused when filling out the ballot. Tomorrow I will vote for the first time in NJ.</p>

<p>Can I ask what is the booze initiative? Here in Ohio, we've got a vote on Senate Bill 5.</p>

<p>I detest them! I emailed our county commissioner after the last Presidential election to complain, but I love collegeshopping's husband's idea. Better for my blood pressure!!</p>

<p>We can vote early (and I usually do), but never heard of voting by mail. How can they know who you are? Seems ripe for fraud.</p>

<p>
[quote]
There are people who are influenced by the signs they see on the way in. I think many of you would be surprised how many people make up their minds once they get inside.

[/quote]
Unfortunately you're probably right that there are some, hopefully not many though, who let something as ridiculous as a person holding a sign when they're one minute from voting influence their vote. These people shouldn't even be voting if they're so clueless about what they're voting for. These signs are generally not informative - they're usually just declarative (vote this way - without any actual reason, especially any reason the person hasn't already heard of). I don't think holding a placard near a voting place is the appropriate way to try to influence an election - the people who want to influence the vote should have done it already through informative outreach. </p>

<p>I also detest all the declarative signs stuck all over the place with some candidate's name on it - just their name, or "vote no (or yes) on prop xx" as if that's enough to tell someone how to vote.</p>

<p>I hope I don't know anyone stupid enough to allow something like a sign at a polling place influence their vote. I can't think of anyone I know who'd be influenced like this.</p>

<p>We could conduct a simple poll though - how many people posting on this thread have actually changed their mind on how they voted simply because they saw a placard on their way into a voting place - whether 100 ft away or 10 ft?</p>

<p>Gee, I thought it was forbidden everywhere. I have never seen a person outside a polling place. I think outward manifestations (ie. T-shirts) of support are forbidden within 100 feet of the polling place. People around here to put up campaign signs but at least 100 feet from the entrance.</p>

<p>In my state there is no local voters guide that is sent out, so it is difficult to find information on the candiates. Whereas in CA I had ample places to find info on the candidates, here I rely on ads, websites (if I can find them) and voter ad guides from unions, community groups, etc. I can imagine that talking to the candidate reps would give better information than what I do now. </p>

<p>Course voting tomorrow is a formality since in my county the primary is the only competitive race for the mayor, etc. I will hit a straight ticket and be on my way.</p>

<p>If a campaign is well run, there will have been plenty of informative outreach. Research shows that people need to see/hear things 7-8 times in order for it to become familiar for them or for them to get to a comfort level. Those 7-8 things can consist of the candidate door knocking, mailings, yard signs, phone calls and the last look before entering the voting booth. Many people do not research each office before they vote. They come to vote for the Governor or President for example. If I am working for a local legislator, then I want those people to vote down ticket. Some people don't do that. They just vote for the top of the ticket and go home. Connecting with that person at the last minute might get him/her to notice your candidate's name down ticket and vote. The piece that we always offered to voters on the way in highlighted the record of our candidate or gave a quick synopsis of his stand on key issues. I have had people come to me on the way out of the voting booth and tell me that they read the info in the booth and was glad to see the candidate supports this or that and that it secured a vote.</p>

<p>I don't know if they change a single mind at the door but I'm OK with them. I choose vote by mail for convenience but I'd do it in person for very important elections.</p>

<p>My least favorite part of elections, is the robocalls the night before. Placards have to be 100 ft away from the doors, which really isn't very far. I've got no problem going past them. I think of my lawn sign as more of a reminder that there's an election than an advertisement. Though maybe the fact that our neighborhood has dozens of signs for one candidate and only two for the other guy is meaningful. I can't imagine being influenced by a sign on the day of the election, though dh has plenty of times asked me who to vote for on school board elections where there are no parties and you actually have to do some research.</p>

<p>"We can vote early (and I usually do), but never heard of voting by mail. How can they know who you are? Seems ripe for fraud."</p>

<p>When you first register to vote by mail, your identity gets verified. Your voter registarion number is printed on both the ballot and the envelope. The envelope has to be signed by the voter for the ballot to be valid.</p>

<p>Here, even voters themselves are not allowed to electioneer. We're prohibited from wearing t-shirts, buttons, etc. into a polling place.</p>

<p>We can't electioneer within 100' of the polling place but it is okay to wear tee shirts, buttons, etc. inside the polling place as long as you don't campaign in there. Some states prohibit it, but I think those laws are unconstitutional.</p>

<p>There are lots of things I don't care for. I don't care for the grossly misleading campaign flyers I get in the mail. I don't care for robocalls the three days prior to Election Day. I don't like the gauntlet of "sign people" outside polling places. I don't care for our local political gadfly who comes early and parks as close to the polling place door in his $45,000 diesel duelie pick up truck. (He leaves the engine running the whole election day, spewing diesel exhaust along the entrance way. There's always a sign on the truck that says something like "Stop Government Waste!") But the thing that annoys me most is handing over my picture license for identification every election to staffers who have known me thirty years, and then answering their canned questions "Are you NewHope33? Is this your current address?" A couple times I've been misplaced on the voter registration pages, and got shunted off for "special handling." In the grand scheme of things I probably deserved that. ("You know Mr. Opinionated, we have ways of dealing with people like you.") It's just really annoying that after thirty years in this town I get treated like a miscreant simply because their record-keep stinks.</p>

<p>sewhappy- congratulations on being a first time NJ voter. Have they told you in NJ you get to vote twice until you die and then you only get one vote.</p>

<p>Sign holds on election day are the best part of the process . . . a celebration of democracy . . . we sign holders chat and talk throughout our shifts, friendships and conversations crossing candidiate lines, folks holding signs for others when breaks are needed . . and for the hard core, holding signs after the sun goes down gives us a chance to maybe swing maybe 4 or 5 votes a precinct our candidate's way, and in close races that kind of action can make the difference.</p>

<p>But the OP notes one large drawback to democracy: it includes actual people.</p>