Let’s Have a Frank Discussion About: What Happened to Voting?

I voted today. Did you vote today? If you did, it means you’re a real adult, and probably 30 or older. I realized that this was my first time voting in a mid-term election and that’s mostly because A) I hate politics and B) I was in my 20’s before, and people in their 20’s just don’t do that kind of thing. Today, I proudly exercised my American right and… eh..it was all right. Of course, as with anything, I have some comments.

1.) Where are the voting machines?!?

The first time I voted, (for John Kerry…I tried to help…) I walked into my local polling place and stepped into that little machine, pressed the button and the curtain closed behind me. I was terrified to do it wrong. But, something about submitting my vote and walking back out of the machine felt official and satisfying. It’s like when you pull the lever on a slot machine (and don’t win, just like in that election.) This morning, however- no voting machines, just large, oversized, clunky pen-in-the-bubble “Scantron” style ballots. WTF?! The last time I was shorted like that, I was voting in Michigan (not surprising.) I actually thought to myself, “Do they only pull out the good machines for presidential elections?” When did this happen? I for one would like to VOTE to bring back the fun interactive voting machines.

Ohhhh yeah. That's the stuff! #classic
Ohhhh yeah. That’s the stuff! #classic

2.) Where is my sticker?!

When I vote, I want to be able to brag about it, as well as have proof to show my employer in case I happen to walk in the door a few minutes late. Sorry, I was out doing my CIVIC DUTY (I got there a half an hour early today, but just in case for next time.) To my knowledge, there were no voting stickers to be had in Erie or Niagara County. Now, I am normally against wasteful spending and the unnecessary killing of trees, but I’d happily pay a few more bucks in taxes in order to get that damn sticker. We all had to settle for the “I’m Voting” Facebook badge, and settle, we did. Let’s just say my Instagram followers were likely disappointed.

3.) Voting against people you actually know.

For the past 6 years, I’ve lived out of the state, which means some of my recent local voting actions were stabs in the dark. Again, it was strictly the collateral damage of my presidential election voting visit. (Sorry, Washtenaw County.) Back at home and voting in the same neighborhood I grew up in, it was a little odd seeing the names of people who went to my high school on the ballot. Too bad those future politicians weren’t nicer back in the day. A Warrior never forgets.

4.) Too much thinking about Scandal.

I’m guilty of thinking about Scandal more than once today, including when I scanned my ballot through the vote-counting machine and assuming it was probably rigged with a pre-programmed memory card that would render my votes useless. I also realized it was only Tuesday, and not Thursday, Scandal night. Guys, how am I going to survive the winter season hiatus? Oops… got distracted. Yeah. I can only handle politics from Jon Stewart or Kerry Washington.

I hope you got out and voted, and that none of you made the wrong decisions. It’s only our collective future, after all.

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