For many, it was our first date all over again.
This past election, without question, just wasn't the same. Besides having different candidates and propositions, we had a new partner in a voting machine.
Chautauqua County was one of 15 across the state to implement the new optical scan paper ballot machine. Of course, with any change, the new voting process was greeted with concerns and complaints.
For many, their first encounter with the new voting machines came on Election Day — Nov. 3.
Everyone was comfortable with the old pull-lever machines that included a curtain. In those machines, no one else could see your choices.
Scan forms, however, had to be filled in at stations with dividers. Once complete, many voters handed the paperwork to the person at the machine who inserted it.
This led to a question of privacy, which is already being addressed. Norm Green and Brian Abram, county election commissioners, say more of the privacy sheets will be purchased for the next election.
In addition, Abram said those volunteers at the polling places did not want to come across as "helpful and intrusive." Certainly many voters needed some assistance with this being the first time, but others were happy to go at it alone.
Some even appreciated the change. One caller to a recent WDOE-AM "Viewpoint" radio show said she thought the new process was better because she did not feel rushed and could take her time.
Remember, this last election was a first for everyone. Whatever went wrong is being fixed. The process can only get better - and easier.