Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election 2008: Early morning at Trinity Church

It's early here at Trinity Church on Mercer Road, the polling site for District 1 of Princeton Boro. As a poll challenger for the Democratic Party, my job is to make sure nothing suspicious happens
and to keep track of who's voted. So far, so good. Even though the polls have been open for just an hour, we've had 50 voters. At this rate, we'll have 700 by the end of the day, but we're optimistic that there will be the greatest turn out ever here.

While it's expected that most voting will go smoothly today, the main issue is going to be the use of provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are used for voters who have not been registered correctly. In the case of Princeton students, those who have moved in between districts - say, from Scully to Henry - are incorrectly registered. Provisional ballots are rarely used for the population at large, but given than 130 were used at this polling location in February, we've been equipped with 150 this time. The downside of provisional ballots is that they aren't actually counted unless there's a close election.

To counter this problem, P-votes, College Dems, and College Republicans had worked to encourage people to update their registrations. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we won't need to use as many provisional ballots this year. so far, so good.