Time was on Election Day, you entered the polling place, signed in to vote and went into a booth resembling a large refrigerator carton with one side open.
Upon entering the booth, you would move a large lever, which would close the booth with a curtain that went not quite to the floor. You were now ready to vote.
There was a list of candidates in large print, and to cast your ballot you simply turned a small lever to the candidate’s name. It was also easy to change your vote by pointing the lever to your choice. Finished? Then you would again pull the large lever, which would register your vote and open the curtain.
Voting for judges? That was another thing. The list was written on long pieces of paper that could have been wound around a toilet paper roll. Voters checked their choices, and if you made a mistake, you started all over. Those votes were tabulated by hand by two election judges, one from each party.
I did it at Blythe Park School — Angeline Philiotis and I were stationed in the sports closet in the gym. If we moved wrong, a basketball would fall on us. One judge would call the judge’s name and the other would tally it; we were supposed to do it twice.
Legal or not, I said we would only do it once, since at 11 p.m. we were still tabulating. Luckily, Ange and I got along. Obviously that was not the most accurate system and there were many errors, I’m sure.
Things changed over the years. There was the voting device where you punched a hole in a paper ballot using a stylus. That ended after 2000 with the “hanging chad” issue — who knew they even had a name those little paper punches.
Nowadays if you use a paper ballot, you draw a line to complete an arrow to the name of a candidate with a special pen. There is also the touch screen method, which is the best and easiest to change your vote. If you make a mistake with the paper ballot, you need to get a new one and start all over.
There’s really no excuse for not voting. You can even vote early at the Brookfield Village Hall, which has convenient hours, easy access and ample parking.
See you at the polls. I will be at Blythe Park School, as usual.