Richland County, SC — As a senior citizen who chose to participate in the voting process in person, I consider this year’s experience a disaster. A six- hour wait without chairs or water or food (unless you had a buddy with you) was a clear reflection of bureaucratic incompetence with plenty of blame to go around. I thoroughly agree that election officials and candidates should be made to endure our experience. There were really old people (not “handicapped”), mothers with small children and babies in strollers, and of course “normal” people whose eyes widened like deer in the headlights when they saw what they were facing.
I have read the letters suggesting solutions, but nothing compares to old-fashioned preparation: adequate machines that operate, competent volunteers at the polls who demonstrate knowledge of the process (instead of sitting at the sign-in table looking bored as each voter appears), identifying seniors or asking them to identify themselves to expedite their voting, moving mothers with young children to a special line. In other words, create additional opportunities for voters to move forward and not become discouraged with the process.
I will never vote in person again, and this is a sad commentary.