Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Voted!

Here in Washington state we've had mail-in-only ballots for years. I kind of miss the old days, though, when you showed up in the morning before work at the nearby grade school, chatted with poll workers and flirted with the old ladies, signed in, and went into a little curtained booth to try to punch out your hanging chads. Then they gave you a little oval sticker that said "I Voted!" that you could wear to work and be all smug with your fellow employees who didn't have one.

As much as I like the convenience of mail-in voting, I think we've lost some of our civic pride when we left the old system behind. So, after we went to pure mail in, I used to hang on to my ballot until election day and then drop it at one of the many drop boxes around town. That way if an election were close I could have the feeling that my vote actually made a difference.

However, after several elections' worth of showing up at phone banks and calling people to vote for my candidates, I learned that if you get your ballot in early, you drop off the phone lists. So I filled mine out on Saturday and dropped it in the mailbox with a stamp. They will get it tomorrow, record that I sent it in, and the phone calls will magically cease.

And that will free up time for the phone bank volunteers to call other people who haven't voted yet.

Obama is way ahead in Washington State, so far ahead that my presidential vote won't really count, and I was tempted to cast a protest vote for one of the minor candidates. I haven't been above that in the past. In 1980, when I knew that Reagan was going to win, I voted for John Anderson (Independent). In 1984, when I knew he was going to win again, I voted for Gus Hall and Angela Davis (Communist).

But this year I just couldn't do it. I had to vote for Obama anyway, even though he's done a bunch of shit that I don't really like. But here's a piece from Daniel Ellsberg that pretty much sums up my feelings about it: Defeat Romney, Without Illusions about Obama.

Read it, suck it up, bite the bullet and vote for Obama. Romney would be so much worse that it is beyond comparison, almost beyond comprehension.

I even finally put up my "Veterans for Obama" yard sign left over from four years ago. I'm in!


the yellow fringe said...

My Kansas mail ballot arrived Friday. Figured on sending it later, but your explanation about getting it in is a good one. Will do it today. I went to the mail in ballot when Kansas took the voting stations out of schools, fire houses and court houses and moved them all into churches, and they pay the church for the use of the space. On municipal and school bond issues, voting in churches swings the vote against approval by 1 to 2%. The GOP is trying to kill public education.

Farnsworth68 said...

It's troubling to have polling places located in churches, I agree. Especially now that so many of them are proclaiming what they call "pulpit freedom" wherein they campaign from the pulpit for GOP (mostly) candidates.
I'd like to see a total separation of church and state in that regard, and take the polling places out of the churches. The GOP really is trying to kill public education.
--The F Man