Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mission Accomplished For Today

I have voted.

I always vote.  It’s my civic duty.  It’s my license to complain, and if you haven’t noticed already I like to complain and I would hate to have my license revoked.  If you don’t vote, you have no right to be upset at anything that happens afterward with the government.

So I vote.

We usually take the girls with us when we vote, but they have seen the process enough now to know how it works and they’ve been paying attention to the election all along – granted, hard not to do in this house – so they know what the issues are.  They’re probably better informed than a good percentage of the people who will actually vote, sad to say.  They decided that they’d rather not wait in the lines, especially since our polling place moved away from one of the local elementary schools and into the City Building, where there is no playground as such.  I suppose they could have played on the big comfy City Council chairs, but someone probably would have objected.  So I dropped them off at school this morning and headed off to my polling place.

I can never remember what ward I’m in.

I used to know.  It took me several years to beat it into my skull so that it would stay there, but eventually I figured out the right number and would unerringly head to the table with that number on it at least three times out of five.  There are always two wards voting at the same polling place for some reason, so it was a bit of a gamble.  But for a while there, I was winning.

Then they redistricted and now I’m in a completely new ward with a whole different number and my third different polling place since I moved here.  At least I remembered to go to the right building.  That’s a start.

When I got there I remembered that last time I had gone to the table on the right rather than on the left, so I stood in that line.  Turns out they switched places this time, so eventually I went around and stood in the other line too.  I can honestly say that both lines moved equally quickly and were provided with the same level of amenities (zero) and friendly, helpful staff (two).

In Wisconsin we still use paper ballots, which means that there is a chance the votes will be counted accurately.  I like that.

I signed the voter log, got my little ticket, walked it four steps over to the one table in the room where I hadn’t already stood in line and exchanged the ticket for a ballot, and then walked over to the little blue pedestal-like things they set up for you to make your suggestions.  All the candidates are listed with an arrow head and arrow tail next to their names, and you connect the head and tail next to the candidate you want.  No chads.  No butterfly ballots.  No confusion as to what mark goes with what candidate.  No easily hacked digital machines with phantom software patches installed mere days ahead of the election and kept secret from election monitors (Go Ohio!).  Why don’t they all work this way?

Don’t answer that.  I already know and it depresses me no end.

But I made my marks and slid my ballot into the machine that reads them and counts them, and then I was off to take on the rest of my day.

Go vote.  It’s important.  If it weren’t important there wouldn’t be so many people trying to stop you from doing it.

Voter #92 in my ward, 8:20am, on a grey and chilly day here in Wisconsin.

Because that’s what citizens of the republic do.


Phiala said...

I voted, of course.

But my real political achievement of the day? My message about PA voter ID checking was repeated by both Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler, two of my political heroes.

(Yes, they're fictional. No, I don't care. Leave me my political delusions, and my desire for another Bartlet term.)

David said...


I never did see "West Wing," but everyone says I should. Maybe someday - it's out on DVD now, I suppose.

TortugaRachel said...

Thank you for voting.

I know, it sounds like something so simple that it doesn't bear even acknowledging, but my husband and I are big supporters of the Constitution and the rights it gives us. We met while we were each serving in the military, how much more support can we give!?

Anyway, I started following your blog a couple days ago, and I just want to say thank you for bringing a sliver of sanity into this craziness. You and my hubs would get along great, by the way, and my kids and yours could swap stories about how at election times they lose a father and gain a political commentator. Okay, not true, it's all the time, not just elections. Haha!

Anyway, again, I say thank you for voting.

Oh, and you would LOVE "The West Wing."

Katherine McKay said...

David, you MUST see West Wing. It's right up your alley. I would definitely vote for Jeb Bartlet, the president played by Martin Sheen. And yes, we voted today. At 10 a.m. we were 189 and 190.

David said...

Okay, okay, I'll watch The West Wing! :)

Tom said...

David, I, too, am a West Wing fan. I didn't watch the first couple seasons, but during a visit to my brother's family, they took out video tapes of West Wing episodes, and re-watched them for pleasure. They knew the names, "Big Block of Cheese", etc. "Hey, let's watch the episode with thus-and-so!" "OK, that's on this tape. I'll put it on." After several of those, I started watching on my own, and then wouldn't miss an episode. I now have the entire run on DVD. The characters became real to me, as Phiala alludes to.