Even so, no one is particularly happy with the city's voting apparatus - certainly, not those candidates in close elections who have to wait for the painstaking process of hand-checking the votes recorded in each of the 3,655 voting machines.
But city voters who step into those old polling booths on Nov. 3 will be able to change that. Their ``yes'' vote on a simple ballot question will start the process of purchasing new, electronic voting machines - hastening the day when their votes will be counted speedily and virtually without error.
The new technology envisioned for the city will enable elections officials to tally the entire vote instantly when the polls close. Voting machines like this are in use in some suburbs and in a growing number of jurisdictions nationally.
Elections officials and the Rendell administration, joined by the election watchdog group Committee of Seventy, are urging a ``yes'' vote on the question, which reads, ``Shall an electronic voting system be used at polling places in Philadelphia?''
Once voters' approval is secured, the city can seek bids for the new machines. The total cost may be about $20 million, but millions will be saved over the long run due to efficiencies with the new machines.
And it's not as if the city can afford to wait. The city's voting machines are said to have a life expectancy of less than 10 years.
Now is the time to vote ``yes'' on an electronic voting system - to make sure the polls can open.