A few quick notes left over from my trip to the voting booth yesterday. First, despite several signs stating that all voters must show their IDs when checking in, none of the four volunteers I encountered asked me for my ID. The lady handling the sign in book never even glanced at my signature to see if it matched the one scanned in from my initial registration. A clear sign of rampant voter fraud!!!! Actually, I just found it fascinating that after everything we heard about four years ago, and everything that was expected to happen yesterday, they wouldn’t be a tad more vigilant. In Indiana voters are not registered by party, but I would imagine Hamilton County is 60-65% Republican, and my precinct has a similar ratio. I suppose when one party is that dominant there’s no real need to worry about who is actually voting. The cynical, reverse-racist, liberal side of me wonders that since I saw only two non-white faces out of nearly 300 that were in line, if that’s not the real reason they don’t care about who votes. Something tells me if I was in a precinct where a racial minority had a majority of registered voters, things would have been different.
Second, and I may have mentioned this on my audio post, my ballot didn’t line up perfectly with the voting buttons. In our booths, a ballot rotated under a glass plate and each candidate had a button and a light next to their name. To vote for John Kerry, you pushed the appropriate button and the light came on. Easy enough on most of the ballot, but since the screen was at an angle, roughly the bottom third was off by about a quarter inch. There were several selections where I had to lean down to make sure I was selecting the right button. I can only imagine how long it took the old lady next to me to discern which button went with which candidate. Not an issue that can throw an election, obviously, but one of those little things that you wonder why they can’t make as simple and easy as possible. But I’m a black hearted, persecutor of the religious right liberal, so what do I know?
Third, there were no I Voted! stickers at my polling place. That’s the only fucking reason I went! I still have the book Clinton and Gore put out in 1992 with their Covenant for America, or whatever it was, with my voting sticker on the cover. I’ll bore my kids for hours with that when they’re old enough! I was going to slap this sticker on the today’s paper and throw it someplace safe to rediscover at a later date. But I’m just an evil, cat and dog hating liberal, so none of this matters.
Finally, I always find the moments after voting a bit disappointing. Call me a bleeding heart, pie-in-the-sky, utopian liberal, but I get excited about going to the polls. I enjoy the opportunity to make my voice heard, to be part of the process, to participate in the most basic act upon which all that is unique about America is based. For some strange reason, I expect to hear patriotic music from the Revolution (As in independence from Great Britain, not Prince) and see the Founding Fathers hanging out on a bench waiting for me when I leave the polling place. But in the five or six times I’ve left a voting booth, everything always seems just as it was before.
I’ve yet to dig up all the local results, but as far as I can tell, I voted for only three people or initiatives that won. I may increase that number once I see the county results, but it’s still going to be pretty pathetic. That’s what I get for being an America-hating, ivory tower, overly educated liberal, I suppose.
Postscript: it looks like Dale was right re: the youth vote. As the numbers have been crunched, it appears that the kids did vote in large numbers, if not quite as large as Kerry had hoped. People in the 40s and 50s also came out in much greater numbers, though, which at worst off-set the Democratic advantage from the kids, and at best surpassed that total. My apologies to the kids. It was late and I was upset. I needed to lash out at someone. And anyway, I’m just a totally out-of-touch liberal, so anything I believe lacks merit.