The River

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Protest vote

I voted first thing this morning. I stood in a line with about 25 in front of me. The church hosting the polling had a table with free coffee. I had brought my own, but they also unveiled three dozen Krispy Kreme’s, still warm. I accepted one and found that it was good. The word of the Bruce.

With the coffee and donut ritual out of the way, it was time to do my civic duty, i.e. pretend there weren’t massive structural, cultural, and criminal inhibitors of democracy at work.

I decided that if I could do any good today, it would be through a vocal protest of sorts over the joke that is electronic voting.

I went through the “fill out a form that says you are who you say you are” song and dance, presenting it to one of the two nice young women along with my driver’s license. After that, there were two people providing fresh microchip cards with which to activate your ballot on the Diebold machines. I asked the friendly, gray-haired gentleman whose job it was to hand me a card if I they had paper ballots available for those that don’t trust the machines. He didn’t know, but said I could ask the “manager” at the table about four feet away.

The manager wanted to know why I wanted a paper ballot. I said that the machines use proprietary software. I said that the software company was politically connected (I didn’t mention a party). The manager, clueless and wanting to appease the strange man, provided me with a card for a disabled voter to complete, albeit with the help of a poll worker, who would then presumably provide the paper ballot, as well as any necessary help.

But at least the gentleman handing out the computer activation cards had heard the exchange and commented, “that’s interesting.” I said, “it’s true.” And he replied that he wasn’t arguing.

Certainly a few more in the lines heard me as well. However, their arguments, or lack thereof, remained private.

I then got in line to perform push-button democracy. I had visions of kicking over the tables supporting the silly little tabulator machines, police wrestling me to the ground while I screamed, “democracy has been hijacked! It’s been diebolded! It’s who counts the votes that matters! In cyberspace, no one can hear you screeeaaammmm…gah, ooof, umph…”

But I didn’t. Now I have indigestion. And I don’t think it was the innocent little donut.

"Krispy Kremes are people! They're people!!"

Yeah, I'm just back from voting. Oh, there's a paper ballot. You fill it out then stick it into this brown machine which sucks it in, no paper receipt back. I could've voted for gay communists for all I know (in my district, that's actually possible).
Hey I got to vote for communists AND we have the old style ballot!
Hah, AND they don't ask for ID so I could have voted as Agnes Morehead had she been registered but she wasn't, the tart and, and, and I forget my point. No, it's that everything was good in my polling place, commies, loose controls, paper, big ole' handle to pull when you're done. I didn't get to shout about cyberspace or doughnuts. So I farted while the curtain was still closed. It wasn't really a protest, it's just all that roughage lately. So, sorry if any of you used that booth after me. Really.
Not forgetting, just buried. Will rise for air soon.
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