Jeff Johnson, a computer engineer, has got this interesting tale of dysfunction via e-mail:

My voting experience this morning was the worst I have ever experienced. I voted at 7:45AM at the polls located in Bay Park (Mission Bay area).

1. All of the Diebold machines were broken. Every voter was forced to use paper ballots. Very disheartening considering the SD Country Registrar’s intent to wait until Thursday to count paper ballots.

2. There were no privacy booths for paper ballot voting. They had six voters sharing a folding table and chairs, filling out their ballots. No privacy of any kind. It looked like a group of third graders doing an in class worksheet assignment. (I used a broken Diebold machine like an easel to fill out my paper ballot)

3. There was no lockbox, ballot box or secured storage for the completed paper ballots. They just piled the completed paper ballots on the corner of the registration table like junk mail. My ballot just layed there where anyone could see how I voted. I have no guarantee that my ballot was protected, saved or secured.

We as a country have been voting for 230 years. You would think we would have it together by now.

I am distressed and disgusted as a citizen and voter.

He added this in a later e-mail:

Which ever candidates or measures win today it will be due to misconduct and mishap, not by the will of the people.

If I was forced to use a paper ballot and the SD Registrar, backed by the decision of a superior court judge, will not even count paper ballots until Thursday, it would seem that my vote will not count. It will not be measured in the exit polls or a part of the late evening “lemming flow” influence of early returns and most of all it will not be considered if a particular measure or candidate seems to have a healthy lead late tonight. Theoretically a majority of absentee or paper ballot voters may be for a particular candidate or measure.

I am so outraged I want to start preparing the tar and feathers.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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