That’s democracy for you

So it took me three tries to vote today.  I’m very much a traditionalist on this, believing it’s a civic ritual and we should all go out and vote together on the same day.  After this year though, I may have to give in and vote early by mail.  Yikes.

Attempt 1:  The traditional election day, pre-dawn, daddy-daughter breakfast followed by voting – failed when the line was so long I couldn’t finish in time to take her to school.

Attempt 2:  Returned after dropping her off at school, only to learn my phone was almost dead and the line was still at least 2 hours long.  Home to charge battery and caffeine-up   for the day.

Attempt 3:  Success after 2.5 hours, and learned why the line was so long in our tiny little precinct:  One of our two ballot counting machines was broken.  We only use the d*mn things once every 2 years so you’d figure someone would think to do a little maintenance and test them the night before, and maybe have a spare downtown that could be trucked in for an emergency.  But then you’d be in the private sector instead of the government.

Later I learned from a neighbor that for a period of time neither ballot counting machine was working.  She had to place her ballot in a locked box they promised to count later.  Very nice.  That’ll go well, I’m sure.  It’s not like we’re Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Connecticut or Washington

Oh, btw, the Obama campaign was breaking the law by handing out material to the voters in line.  I don’t know if he was officially with the campaign (har har) but it was a “2012 Democratic Voter Guide.”  I should have taken a sample.  Later a poll watcher came out and warned those of us in line that it’s illegal.  I should have spoken up when the guy showed up, but didn’t want to cause a riot.

Also – the ballot was four pages long, double-sided (and bilingual), with 12 (!) proposed (and convoluted) amendments to the state Constitution.  I can’t believe the minutiae we’re being asked to codify into our state Constitution.  Most of these issues ought to be decided in the normal legislative process.  Might that have something to do with slowing the entire voting process down?

Oooh – I almost forgot the best part!  4 people in front of me in line, an elderly woman claimed she had inserted her ballot into the counting machine blank!  4 double-sided pages worth of bubbles and she didn’t/couldn’t remember to fill in even one.  So of course she wanted another ballot.  That slowed things down for a while until they located a supervisor to pull her to the side.  What are the chances they gave her a second ballot when no one was watching?

Sigh.  That’s democracy for you.

Ironic, isn’t it, Smithers. This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.

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