Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Welcome to the machines

The brand-spanking new voting machines in northwest Ohio counties (among the last installed) may effect both turnout and party declaration numbers. I have heard anecdotally that quite a few people, many of them seniors, have voted "absentee" on the new machines in the last week or two, in part to avoid lines and the embarrassment of learning how to vote on the new units "on the fly." Up here, these are generally mainstream conservative voters, but not activists by any stretch.

Did they vote Republican? Or did they choose not to declare a party so they could stick to the local tax issues on the ballots and be done with it fairly quickly and painlessly? Today, will voters uncomfortable with the new machines decide to avoid the potential for confusion and just vote on the school levies or the library issues?

This could be a substantial factor. It will be interesting to do a post-mortem on the primary party declarations versus non-partisan compared to past statewide primary election years.

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