Sentinel-Echo.com

Columns

May 21, 2014

My Point Is...The voting experience

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Living in different places can sometimes bring the term “culture shock” to its true meaning.

That was the case when I registered to vote after moving to Chattanooga, Tenn. First of all, elections are not held every year in Tennessee as is usually done in Kentucky. Secondly, voters in Tennessee did not have to specify a political party preference -- at least not back then.

Needless to say, the change from my usual procedure of registering to vote was quite a surprise.

But my first time voting in Tennessee was an experience that will remain emblazed in my mind forever.

I walked into the voting precinct and waited in a long line. This particular booth was unlike anywhere I’d ever voted. The building was divided into sections by large petitions. Along the walls were small black structures that looked like a band leader’s podium with three sides on it. It took some fast thinking to realize that these were the voting machines I was expected to use. I had to use a stylus to punch holes in the appropriate spots beside the name of the person I wished to vote for, and even had to physically flip the pages to move on to the next category of candidates with each particular race.

I was stunned, to say the least. Never in all my adult life had I used such a machine before. As a registered voter in Kentucky, I had always voted on a large machine by pulling  a switch to mark my vote, and I always had a curtain on the machine to ensure that my vote could not be seen by others. The Tennessee voting method seemed very primitive to my previous voting experiences. I was amazed that a small town like London, Ky., was more advanced in its voting facilities than a so-called progressive and heavily populated city as Chattanooga, Tenn.

Text Only
Columns
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results