Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Well I was out there bright and early this morning to place my vote at the proper polling place. Of course I had to cast a provisional ballot because having been here slightly over a year, the Board of Elections in Lucas County has not properly entered my name on the voting roll yet; but then again, they have had only a year to work with. Voting right as the polls opened, I managed to do so without running into any of the candidates. 

No offense to anyone running for office out there, but you have to realize that by now we are sick of the sound of your voice and of seeing your face. The only thing that might prevent us from voting in fact, would be having to run a gauntlet of candidates in order to do so. I know that all candidates want that last bit of name recognition, but this should be weighed carefully, lest you remind us that you were the one that we wanted to be sure not to vote for. 

I was not alone at getting in to place my vote early (possibly for the same reason). It was gratifying to see that a few of my fellow citizens were braving the dark, the cold, and the snow flurries in order to perform duty as citizens. Looking at the entire process however, I find that I am constantly amazed at the way that we treat this most sacred of America responsibilities. The voting machines themselves looked like reworked projector stands from the grade school that I went to in the 60's. Record keeping is done with pads of paper large enough to be books of spells at Hogwarts Wizard School (Harry Potter, for those of you living in a cave in recent history), a system whose technology was obviously created at the same time of the projector stands. 

The only part of the process that deserves any approbation at all are the poll workers. Their good humor and willingness to do whatever is necessary to make sure that anyone who shows up to vote gets a chance to do so is the one bright spot in the process. Knowing that they do this for a wage not much better than that of a person working a drive through window at a fast food joint makes their efforts and sacrifices even more meaningful.  

With all of the money that we get asked to invest in everything from failed museums to empty buses, maybe what we really need to be investing in is the trappings and technology of the process itself. If voting is a right and a sacred duty, perhaps we need to begin to treat the performance of that duty as if it were being done in a church and not an outhouse. 

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