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Voting in Maryland: Can I get a WTF?

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First of all, if you haven’t yet voted, bring a book or a magazine. The printed-on-paper kind. They will make you turn off your phones and even your non-internet-connected Kindles. Second of all, be prepared to wait a long time.

Many polling places — including the one at Rodgers Forge Elementary in Towson — only had one scanner for the ballots, which meant you not only waited a long time to get your ballot, you waited an even longer time to feed that ballot into the scanner.

“Everything has been going as planned,” Nikki Charlson, deputy administrator for the Maryland State Board of Elections, told The Baltimore Sun.

Really, Maryland? This is what you planned on?

I tried early voting three times but each time the line was so long I decided to come back another day. And that other day turned into Election Day.

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I feel fortunate that I have the time to spare for the democratic process. I felt horrible for the people who had babies and toddlers with them. Or for anyone whose job was not flexible enough to allow them to wait for almost two hours to vote. (I arrived at 2:45 pm, thinking that would be after the lunch-break crowd and before the on-my-way-home-from-work crowd.)

I’m psyched to see a strong turnout, but this process needs major improvements.

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Jim Anzalone

If that is what they planned, the Board of Elections staff should be replaced. Providing only one scanner appears to have been a problem through the County. Also, at RFES, the registration table, voting booths and scanner where arranged to create as much confusion as possible. Many people who had to pick up kids or get back to a job left. Worst voting experience I’ve had in 45 years of voting.

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