Frankly I am annoyed at reading yet-another article about the “long lines” on election day. Checked Google - search on “polling” and “long lines” and I get 762,000 matches. Is this a sign of careless reporting, or an intentional lie?

There are polling places with long lines. Polling places are run by volunteers (of which I am one), and are not always as well run as they could be. (On the flip side, a random collection of volunteers at each polling place makes that part of the polling process generally more secure - a very good thing.) There are occasional foul-ups in supply, organization, and equipment malfunctions. With hundreds of thousands of polling places in use during an national election, some will function badly.

But telling voters to expect long lines at the polls, is going to discourage folks. To my mind, intentionally discouraging voters is unethical (at best - “traitor to your country” is the phrase that comes to mind). If very few voters will have to deal with “long lines”, then the news reports are a disservice.

I hosted one of the busiest polling places in Orange County, California during the last election. We did have a line about 100 feet long at 7am when the polls opened. By about 9:30am the line was gone, and by 10:30am the polling place was (briefly) empty. What that means is that we able to process voters faster than they arrived, from the moment the polls opened at 7am. Voters tend to arrive in clumps, and it takes a few minutes to get everyone signed in and voting, but after the first rush there was never a “long” line.

While I know it is common practice to assume government organizations are clumsy and inefficient, the fact is that the Orange County Registrar of Voters tried very hard to make sure things went well. They did make some mistakes, but from my point of view they gave me more than enough to make the election day a success.