By The Big Guy
Yes I did. I went out a few days ago and early voted. I’m lucky. I live in a state where the opportunity to vote in a national election is made as easy as possible by the wide availability of early voting locations and hours. For a full two weeks prior to Election Day I can go to any of the dozens of polling places in my county. They’re open 9-5 Monday through Saturday (yes, Saturday) and 9-3 on Sunday. Next week they expand the hours. You can vote from 9-7! That’s the way it should be everywhere across this great land of ours. It’s not.
I’m pretty sure that in Ohio polling places are now only open to cast an early ballot between 3 and 4AM (because someone said that after all, it’s supposed to be EARLY voting) on a Friday sometime between now and Election Day that has yet to be announced. In Texas, of course, it’s a bit more accessible. Early voting is open to people that own more than ten guns (or five automatic weapons) or any registered republican. Meet these criteria, you can vote whenever and wherever you damn please. And in Alabama early voting is open to anyone wearing a Crimson Tide football jersey who can spell their name correctly on the first try.
Of course my luck ran out when I sat down at the touch screen voting machine and saw the names from which I could choose. I have had several months to learn everything bad these people have done in their lives from their opponent’s television advertising. I never again need to hear the words “Washington insider” or “Career politician” again. Isn’t anyone who wins elected office a career politician? Does that make you a bad person? Never mind.
I found some of the other voters in the room amusing. We were rather tightly packed in with fifteen voting machines, all of which were in use when I was there. The lady to my left seemed to be convinced I was cheating off her ballot. She kept glancing my way and “tsk”ing. I wanted to tell her there were no wrong answers and I didn’t care who she voted for but I figured she’d scream “harassment” and have me detained by an election judge while she ran to her car and drove off. An older guy across the way was getting assistance from one of the staff. Apparently he couldn’t make out the names on the screen so she was reading them to him. He would say, “Who?” and she would read it to him a second time. He grunted and quietly opined, “You know, he’s an ass.” Quiet giggles all around.
I often think of how many times people have said we should vote for “none of the above” and start over. Unfortunately, that won’t work unless we know that everyone’s going to cooperate. And that’s the problem. Cooperation, more than anything else, is what’s lacking in our governance these days.