04 November 2008
Hopefully any Americans reading this today have gone and voted (or will vote before their locals polls close). Previously I voted absentee in Massachusetts, making today my first time voting in an actual booth. A bit groggy from just waking up, I went over to the basement of PS 18 down the block, wandered around confusedly between lines and then the Voter Aides led me to the right line. I didn't know what to expect of line length, but that whole process took me 10 minutes and that includes the walk. The voting machine was weird, too. When I was a kid and "went voting" with my parents I remember going to Leominster City Hall, waiting in line for my ma or pa to get their name crossed off a giant table-sized list before wading through the labia of democracy: the boothflaps.
This New York machine was weird. It looked like an old cigarette vending machine with a giant lever on the bottom. You're supposed to put the lever in position, turn little knobs for the candidate(s) of your choosing, then pull the lever back to cast the vote(s). Such a contraption is quite different than the old Massachusetts machines from my youth. Those things were little boxes with punch cards that had to be lined up properly before casting a vote by punching the lever in the correct position. Then you bring the ballot to another desk and put it in a box. Today? No actual ballot and no box, either. Hm.
Overall, an easy process of which every eligible person should be partaking. My main gripe with American voting (besides the massive fraud of the past two Presidential elections) is that Election Day is not a national holiday. Give every person the day off (or at the very least a half-day) so that they can go cast their vote at their leisure. That people have to get up early or leave work early or skip their lunch break to go vote is stupid. Then again if everyone could vote at their leisure poor, working people would be able to vote. And you know what happens when poor people vote? Baby Jesus cries and the terrorists win again.
On that note (sorry, it's too early for me yet) get out and vote for Obama because if you vote for the old angry guy and the clearly unqualified woman you're an asshole.