Monday, November 06, 2006

Scenes from a voting booth

There is one thing that I believe when it comes to voting. I believe that if you don’t vote, you have no right to bitch about anything in the government. Even if no candidate meets your approval, you are still obligated to go to the polls and write in your candidate.
Even if you write in “Neither of these God forsaken chicken plucking necromancers deserves to represent the lowliest paramecium residing in these here United States”. This is your right as a citizen in this country. It is also your obligation.

I’m not the only one who feels this way, but I have learned that here in the state of Minnesota, less people are inclined to write in the chicken plucking necromancer comment and more people are inclined to write in “candidate C” also known as the “alternate”. This is how Jesse Ventura was elected. I almost choked when I listened to the national coverage on the election of Jesse Ventura. They did a big dog and pony show about how the voters in Minnesota were free thinkers and willing to go with the unknown commodity. If Ventura hadn’t been running against two absolutely wet noodles, he wouldn’t have stood a chance. I voted for Ventura with a laugh and a chuckle thinking “take that you rotten f#*&s!” I walked out feeling pretty smug.


It was an endless term of combative behavior, idiotic remarks, and embarrassment for the state of MN. Let this be a lesson.
Don’t vote in anger.
Democracy can be a powerful thing.
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
Never vote for ANYONE because the other choices suck

Since living in Minnesota, I have had it pretty good in the area of voting ease. It’s easy to register, it’s easy to find out your polling place, and the elders at the polls aren’t too scary. (They can be bribed with therapeutic support hose and 2 for 1 offers at the hearing aid store). I started voting as soon as I was old enough and I have only missed one election since then (and it was a mid-term election. Not that it is OK to miss a mid-term election but amazingly I totally spaced it out. Not that the wall-to-wall media coverage and 25 lawn signs per square foot were any kind of a reminder…)

Voting in Michigan was pretty uneventful. We voted in our high school gymnasium which was a good thing. I think it brought the process to school kids. It wasn’t until I moved to the state of Oklahoma that I started to vote in churches. I will never forget pulling up in front of the church and thinking “hmmmmm…this is novel…” and since this was the presidential election for Bill Clinton term #1, the bible beaters were out in full force. Not only was I handed a ballot, I was handed a sheet of scriptures. There was no mention of who to vote for on the sheet, but the verses were cleverly selected to point out that I would burn in hell for supporting a philandering candidate that would have our nation sprinting to the apocalypse. (Not to put to fine a point on it).

I recall standing stock still with my lower jaw no doubt on the floor, staring at this little quasi-political religious tract. Since that time, I have grown a pair of big brass ones and if anyone would ever do that to me again, I would do everything in my power to have their tax exempt status removed along with several feet of their lower intestine. (The former with the power of the law, the latter with the power of my extremely sharp fingernails).

Unfortunately, all I did was snort in disgust and throw the offending tract in the trash.

My candidate won and I proceeded to endure having my car defaced and nasty notes left on my windshield by good Christians that felt they were on a mission from God to convert me (and wipe my bumper sticker from the face of this good earth.) They were definitely not used to having people DISOBEY.

As a side note, on one occasion we had a note written in crayon on our windshield with every third or fourth word misspelled. My husband and I gawked at it thinking there had to be a joke in there somewhere. Unfortunately, it was serious. We started to call our neighbors poor white trash republicans. It didn’t matter that their lives would be raised up by a candidate that gave a crap about the poor, all that mattered was that the women and the “fags” were kept in check. (We often received mail stuck on our door with this exact wording…along with threats from the local KKK which probably had something to do with the fact that we were actually friends with…*gasp*…black people!)

So, when I went to vote in the state of Oklahoma, I did so with a vengeance. I marked my candidates with a swift stabbing motion, day dreaming that my stylus was going through someone’s hateful heart.

I’m not so angry anymore with the people around me when I vote. I don’t feel like the main character in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson anymore. I no longer feel that if I were to trip on the way out of the polls that the elderly volunteers would be on me, tearing my flesh apart like a pack of jackels.

Now, I go to the polls, vote, go home, and wonder if the voting machine will accidentally/on purpose lose my vote.

Nonetheless, I vote.

1 comment:

Dida said...

Sounds like Anoka County, the land where I am actually to afraid to put anything more than a "Save Tibet" bumper sticker on my car. Side note - I have to explain how to pronounce "Tibet", explain where it is and why it needs to be saved to my neighbors.