New Hampshire Primary 2012 - Voting Experience

After work I headed down the our local election polling place, in this case located in the gym of our middle school. One thing I noticed right off was not so much something that was there but something that wasn't: volunteers holding election signs. There were none.

It wasn't until I got to the entrance to the school that I saw a few campaign signs lying side by side on the ground. But no one was outside holding the signs of their candidate. That is something I haven't seen in all the years I've been voting. It could have been the time of day as I got out of work a little earlier than usual as I wanted to avoid the post-work crush at the polls. The volunteers may have shown up after I had already voted and headed home.

While there was a lack of campaign volunteers, that was not the case for voters.

When I finally entered the gym there were moderately long lines at voter check-in. And while I didn't have to wait more than a couple of minutes in my line (the lines are separated alphabetically), others had more than a dozen or so people in front of them waiting to check in and get their ballots.

Voting itself took all of 30 seconds, with the most of that time spent looking for my candidate's name. (The candidates are listed in random order chosen by lot rather than in alphabetic order, a change made to New Hampshire's election laws some time ago.)

On my way to drop off my ballot in the ballot box I asked the town clerk if it had been busy. Her response: “Since the moment we opened the doors!” Apparently that's been the case just about everywhere across the Granite State, with a heavy turnout, particularly for the Republicans.

As I write this the last of the polls should be closing and we should start hearing the results any time now.