Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Retro Voting

Yesterday I exercised one of my constitutional rights - I went to vote. I "knew" that there was only one issue on the ballot, and that was whether or not we should approve a bond issue for the Metropolitan Sewer District. That way they can stick it to me now at a lower rate as opposed to sticking it to me later at a much higher rate. I figured voter turnout would be light due to the lack of other issues on the ballot. Frankly I think it is ridiculous that anyone is allowed to call for a special vote when there is nothing else on the ballot, but no one asked my opinion. As usual.

When I walked into my polling place I did the usual and customary photo i.d. check and signed my name in the book. Then I was handed a sheet of paper containing ten questions, a pen and a piece of cardboard in the shape of a t-shirt. Huh? The man walked me over to the voting booth and explained that I was to fill in the ovals indicating my vote beneath each question. It reminded me of the standardized tests we had to take in school, only we were not allowed to use pens. No. 2 pencils only, thank you very much. I felt like I was cheating as I used the ballpoint pen to fill in the ovals.

As I looked at the first question, one thing became With the low light inside the school there was no way I would be able to read the questions without my reading glasses, which of course I did not have with me. "Do you need me to read the questions out loud for you honey?" asked the elderly woman behind the table. To say I was embarrassed would be an understatement. Then one of the officials remembered that they had a magnifying glass, which they quickly retrieved for me. It did not look this 
picture at all. Instead it was about 8" long, made out of acrylic and was two sided sort of making an inverted V. I could not even find a picture of one on the web to show what it looked like. Anyway, it was difficult to use, but I eventually got the hang of it. In the meantime my new BFF wannabe reader was blathering on about how the questions are stupid, no one is going to be able to understand what is being asked, people are going to be mad, blah, blah, blah. Even though I knew what the first question was talking about, it was hard to concentrate with her telling me how terrible the whole ballot was. By the time I got to the second question, I began to understand what she was going on about. I really didn't know the implications of what voting Yes versus No would be. Ditto with the remaining eight questions.

Suffice it to say that I spent longer in the ballot box on this "one" issue than I have in some presidential elections. So my bad for not downloading a sample ballot to review before I went to the polling place like I do with most elections. But I also feel like no one made it clear to voters that there was going to be more than one Yes or No decision to be made. As for the cardboard shirt I was handed? I though it was just to make it easier to fill in the ovals with a pen. Wrong again. I was supposed to slip my ballot in between the pieces of cardboard before I walked it over to the ballot box. Then I had to place the cardboard so that the "neck" faced me and slide it into the box, where the paper ballot was then sucked into the metal box. I guess no one wanted to pay for high tech voting machines for the pitiful election. Or was that just at my polling place?

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