Entry for November 04, 2008: Election Day!

Friends, please remember to exercise your rights and fulfill your civic duty by voting today. As I reported to Steve M.R. and in discussions with co-workers, Janice and I arrived at our polling place (a senior center in Needham, Massachusetts) at 6:45 a.m., and we found a line stretching outside — longer than in past elections. We waited for about half an hour to vote, and people were relatively quiet.

Per state law, no identification was necessary; we just identified ourselves by name and address, which were crossed off a list. There is potential for fraud, but I feel that requiring a national ID card could lead to civil rights abuses.

As usual, we filled in paper ballots, then fed them into an AccuVote optical scan machine. Touch-screen machines without paper-based verification pose some risks, as Computerworld has reported. The line got shorter as we were leaving, and supporters of various candidates arrived with placards.

The issues I care about include the environment, dealing with the current financial crisis, reducing armed conflict, and protecting and expanding civil rights. On our local ballot, I voted against greyhound racing, against abolishing the state income tax, and for decriminalization of marijuana possession. Even if I may disagree with you, every U.S. citizen has a responsibility as this historic and close presidential campaign draws to a close.

While superhero ensemble Heroes and quirky comedy Pushing Daisies get a reprieve from recent ratings troubles, I'll be watching the election returns on television tonight.