Cobb County “Sample” Ballot Form Wanted Me To Vote Democrat

May 20, 2014 10:01 am

by Charlie · 10 comments

I voted this morning at the East Cobb Library on Lower Roswell Road.  There were several voting, seemed like a decent pace/turnout for 9:15am.

Upon arriving I was asked to sit down at a table and complete the form to request a ballot.  A blank form had been placed on an enlarged and partially completed “sample”.  It had the date filled in, and that I was in the County of Cobb.  It also had the box checked to receive a Democratic ballot.

The lady, while extremely nice, was talking to those of us like, well, we were stupid.  And if we were as dumb as she was treating us, we probably would have taken her instructions literally when she kept telling us to fill our forms out just like the sample.  I did look around and note that some of the others had samples marked Republican and some were marked Independent.  But most people aren’t going to look around, and if anyone needed the level of over instruction provided by this poll worker, I have a feeling they would end up with whatever ballot their sample form had, not the one they may have actually wanted.

Cobb needs to remove these sample forms.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

joe May 20, 2014 at 10:12 am

I voted last Friday in Henry County. Because there were only a few early voting locations, they were able to deploy a system where they scanned my driver’s license, and printed a partially pre-filled form. I only had to pick which primary, verify information, and sign my name twice. It was the smoothest system that I have ever seen for voting.

greencracker May 20, 2014 at 10:17 am

East Cobb? Are there any democrats there or was this a lone ballot crying out for love?

Well if it’s stupid not-even-nonpartisan bureaucrats administering the party primaries, maybe the private political parties would prefer to take over this costly function themselves? Oh, what’s that? They wouldn’t? Well then.

Ellynn May 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

The poll worker in my very very red strong hold of the Islands area of Chatham county had a little old lady ask the poll workers for the Democrate ballot (she’s a NC transplant and this is her first Georgia election she told them later so she didn’t know they where the same form). The poll lady looked at her like she was crazy with a ‘bless you heart’ expression and said, “Whatever for?” Poll lady then pointed out if she voted Democrate she would have less then 10 races to vote for, and if she voted as a Independent she would only have the Judge and the school board. If she voted Republican she would have almost 30 races to cast votes. Little old lady didn’t back down…

Charlie May 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

Good for her.

The point is she should have her choice to vote her ballot. Not to have condescending poll workers decide for us.

Chris Huttman May 20, 2014 at 11:39 am

Damn we’ll have to try harder to trick you next time.

Lea Thrace May 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm

This not so old and not so little lady had a similar experience during early voting for this primary election. I requested a specific ballot and got asked no less than three times if I was sure I wanted that ballot. The third time I said “am I speaking a different language or do I look stupid. I requested what I wanted so please give it to me.” He finally relented.

I then tried to find someone to complain about his behavior to and was told that person was gone for the day but I could try to come back the next day. No phone number was forthcoming either.

Cobb County. Yay!

Joe Pettit May 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

At every polling place in Cobb, there are two sample forms marked Democrat, two sample forms marked Republican and two sample forms marked Independent. An argument can be made that they shouldn’t mark any of the boxes on any of these forms, so I understand why Charlie was upset. That being said, whether it is appropriate or not, it is an equitable distribution among the ample forms.

Every other open space or box on the form is filled out, and I understand why they filled out these boxes as samples as well.

I will bring up this practice at Board of Elections meetings in the future, and will see if some other solution can be reached, while still providing an complete example of the form.

Bridget Cantrell May 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

It might be as simple as handwriting ((Pick One of Three Options)) and highlighting with a marker, Joe. KISS :)

linuxfanatic May 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Good point about the east Cobb question. It would make a fascinating deal for the folks who want Milton County. Let North Fulton break away to make Milton County in return for letting the heavily Democratic areas of Cobb go join what is left of Fulton. Surely it is preferable to letting Cobb’s Democratic areas remain but using gerrymandered districts to silence them politically:

http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/24625907/article-Cobb-GOP-trying-to-keep-Dem-onslaught-at-bay-via-creative-cartography

Why the DOJ hasn’t stepped in to stop something so blatant that even MDJ freely acknowledges it is a curiosity. But the black, Hispanic and Asian population of those areas of Cobb is only going to grow – as is the white non-Democrat population – so wouldn’t it be preferable to simply hand those voters off than to come up with schemes to keep their votes from counting on local matters?

Yes, I know that conservative North Fulton is similarly disenfranchised (albeit not via gerrymandering) so it is not a good comparison, but if you can stop their whining while solving a legitimate issue of disenfranchisement in the process, that is a win-win with no downside.

View from Brookhaven May 20, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I’m sure Fulton would jump all over that deal. /s