Los Angeles Chads
I love old stories! Here’s one that’s perfect for this time of year.
It was 1972. I just moved to Los Angeles from New York. I was eager to vote in my new state. New York elections used machines, schools, and vigilant security. I figured L.A. was light years ahead.
I followed the instructions on my voter’s card. It led me to a neighbor’s garage. I thought I was in the wrong place until I saw a tiny orange sign:
It was like a 1950s Hollywood movie. People left donuts and home-made cookies; others chatted outside. I walked into the garage and a woman signed me in. She gave me a card and pointed to a corner next to a pile of old stuff. The card fit into a clipboard-sized device so I could punch out my choices. I kept running back for help. People smiled every time I asked another question; one woman commented, “what do you expect from a fancy New Yorker?”
When I was finished, I dropped my punch card into a mail-sized slot in a big bin like the ones you see in third-world countries.
Years later, the Gore-Bush election made punch-card voting famous with terms like hanging chads, swinging chards, and tri-chads.
Things have changed! Now I punch my voting card in a local Church playroom. People say we’re lucky – punch-card voting is less likely to be hacked.
The garages must be full.
Los Angeles, CA