Provisionally Speaking

In an election day blog, I recounted my personal voting tale, which involved a Jeffco polling station at which three out of four voting machines weren't working. In the end, I opted to mark my choices on a provisional ballot, and when I handed it in, the nice election worker there tore off a stub, pointed to a phone number printed on it, and told me that I could use it anytime within the next thirty days to find out "if your vote counted."

That's democracy in action. Or maybe democracy inaction.

At any rate, I dialed the toll-free 866 digits yesterday and was greeted by a voicemail message telling me that provisional results would be available twelve days after the election. Since November 20 marked the thirteenth day following this year's voting debacle, I was hopeful some information would be available.

But no. Moments later, I reached a human, and when I told her the reason for my call, she seemed baffled and put me on hold. Upon her return, she told me that I had reached the Jefferson County elections line and advised me to try again, this time employing the 866 number. When I told her that I had used the 866 number, she put me on hold again, and when she came back, she had a bit more of an explanation. Turns out that the 866 line hadn't been set up yet; hence, it rang through to another office, and no one there had a clue how to answer my question. Word was, though, that the line was supposed to be operational sometime on Wednesday. She advised me to call back then.

The upshot? At this moment, I have no idea whether I officially participated in the 2006 vote or not, and I won't be able to find out until tomorrow at the earliest. This has been one suspenseful election... -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts