|I know, not a great photo|
Primary day in New York yesterday, and I went to vote before heading off to work. We are using new voting machines nowadays; gone are the old mechanical lever machines. I sort of miss them. They had a wonderful old fashioned clunkiness to them. But no paper trail, which is kind of nice to have. So, New York has upgraded to paper ballots that are read by an optical scanner. In case a recount is necessary, the ballots can be hand counted.
So, I was curious how the new system was working out. I was expecting a bit of confusion at the polling place, but when I went in at about 3:30, I was the only voter there. I asked the lady who gave me my ballot how things were working out, and she told me that only one of the five scanners they had was working. Fortunately, it was a low turnout at this polling place, so it wasn't too much of a problem. Glancing at my ballot, I was shocked at how tiny the print was. My eyesight is fine for reading, and I still had trouble making out the print. Surprising considering that there were only two races on my precinct. As you can tell by the high quality photo I took of it, there was a lot of blank space. I asked the poll worker about it, and she told me that there was a magnifying glass at the table if I needed it. Why it couldn't just be printed with a larger font is beyond me. Come November for the general election, with all the races and candidates, it will be a pain in the ass. But, complaining aside, it only took about five minutes, and I was on my way to work. I even showed up to work early.
Results wise, the most interesting news of the night was the upset win of Teabaggers' favorite Carl Paladino for Republican candidate for governor. He is a small government, low tax wingnut who has promised to seize the Ground Zero Mosque building through eminent domain. He doesn't have a chance in hell of beating the Democratic candidate, Andrew Cuomo.
The best news of the night was Pedro Espada's loss to Gustavo Rivera. Espada, the Senate Majority leader,
earned extorted his leadership post during a coup in which he and another Dem switched sides to join the Republicans, giving them a two seat majority. The other turncoat switched back to the Dems a few days later, leaving the Senate tied. After a month of a stalled Senate, the Dems bribed Espada with his leadership post in order to bring him back to their side. He is also under investigation for allegedly extorting $14 million from a health charity he runs. I'm glad the jackass lost.
Nationally, a Teabagger candidate won a Senate primary in Delaware. According to polls she has almost no chance to win the general, so that looks like a win for the Dems. As of this writing a race in New Hampshire that may have similar implications is too close to call. I find myself in the odd position if rooting for the Teabagger so the Dems will have a better chance. Whatever it takes. If the Teabaggers are going to pull the GOP so far to the right that they can't get elected, all the power to them.
Now, if only the Dems can figure out how to save the House.