Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I voted... I think

I'm generally not a fan of conspiracy theories. I mean, I certainly get the appeal. I'm sure it's lots of fun to hunt for a series of arbitrary circumstances that have one or two things in common and then let those coincidental similarities prevail over any kind of rational thought and reasoning ability to guide your actions. But generally I think the folks who believe in massive conspiracies give people way too much credit. It's almost impossible in most offices to pass a birthday card around for signatures without the celebrant finding out about it. I seriously doubt any organization's ability to make the necessary arrangements required to launch the kind of conspiracy that would actually be worth a damn.
Still, things happen that make me wonder sometimes...
For example, yesterday I went to my friendly neighborhood polling place for the purpose of participating in democracy. It was important for me to make my choice for governor, even though picking between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist is like choosing between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich with a side of cold curly fries.
Oh darn, I can only pick one?

Also, I did cast a YES vote on amendment two, so you're welcome when your stupid hobby is completely legal in a few years allowing you to stumble around like a moron in public without being hassled, you dipshit potheads. I got in the A-J line, since my last name is Brooks, and I gave the lady at the desk my identification. "I don't need that", she said, taking my drivers license but rejecting the voters registration card. "I said, "Okay, but the license has my old address. The voters registration is up to date." She replied, "Mm-hmm". She thumbed through her book and got to the page with my name on it. I know she did because the book has entries printed so that both the person using it and a person on the other side of a desk can read it because it needs to be signed and that makes it so you don't have to turn the book around every time someone signs it. Smart! She said, "Okay, go see the lady at the issues table down at the end of this line. I was confused but said okay. Maybe there was some flag that only showed on her side of the book. I got to the issues table and they gave me a form to fill out and sign, which was basically a confirmation of my address info. I handed it to that lady and she said, "Okay, you'll be getting a new voters registration card in four to six weeks. Don't worry, you will be able to vote today." I asked, "What's wrong with the card? All the info on it is accurate. It's my license that needs to be updated." She said, "Oh no, this card is no good." I said, "Are you sure? I've used it before." "Not here though." "Yeah, in the last election back in August. Right here in this room. I'm parked in the same spot I parked in that day." "Well, it was valid then but it's not valid now."
Thoroughly baffled, I took my ballot and went to the little booth to fill my ballot in. It happened to be right next to where the lady with the A-J lady was sitting. As I'm standing there filling in the little circles, the lady from the issues table came down and had this conversation with the A-J lady...
"Did you have Brooks?
"Brooks? No. (thumbs through book, finds the page with my name)"
"Yes, this guy right here. (points to my info)"
"Him? No, he didn't come here."
At this point I chime in.
"Yes, I did. Hi."
"No you didn't. (looks at me like I just teleported in from Mars)"
"Yeah, I really did. I told you the address on my license needed to be updated and you didn't want to look at my voters registration card. Remember? Seriously, you don't remember that? It happened less than ten minutes ago. I'm literally the last person to come up to your desk."
"(continues to look at me like I just teleported in from Mars)"
I'm standing there with my filled out ballot in my hand and all the poll workers are looking at me. "So now what?", I ask. "Is this invalid? Do I need to start over?" "No no no", the issues table lady says. "It's fine." "Are you sure? What about what you told me about my card being invalid?" That's when the lady who was guarding the actual vote-counting machine stepped in and said, "Your vote will count. Today." Well now, why did she say it like that? I didn't say anything about my vote not counting. And what's with the emphasis on "today"? What the hell is going on? What happens next time? These are all questions I should probably ask of somebody in charge over at the League of Women Voters when things calm down. If I'm going to get up early and go some place where I might have to stand in a line for a few minutes, I sure don't need some shadowy underground cabal descending on St. Chad's Episcopal Church to negate my efforts.

1 comment:

Gail said...

I enjoyed reading this. It made my post-election pain seem duller. Thank you.