Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The ups and downs of my voting experience

I woke up a little early this morning to head down to my local polling place and get my civic duty out of the way nice and early before the lines started forming and people started getting disenfranchised. After all the hype surrounding the elections this year I was all excited to vote and make my voice heard.

But the reality that my district has no remotely close races going on soon struck me quickly. Other than the Governor’s race, I had no body to vote for that would remotely affect control of Congress. I did get to vote on some interesting referendums, and was once again reminded of how much I loathe voting for judges*.

But even though none of my races were exciting, at least I got to be excited about my polling place! After years of being forbidden entry all through high school and my 20’s, society has now spun on its heel and made me morally obligated to go into the women’s locker room. Truthfully, while it was exciting to enter the forbidden zone, it was pretty much the same as a guys locker room – but with a few notable exceptions:

  • It was really hot inside. In retrospect this should not have surprised me. Most women that I know are cold all the time, so it would be logical that an environment where they are parading around in their nekkidness (engaging in random tickle-fights and occasional make-out sessions**) would be warmer than usual. I just didn’t think it would have to be as warm as the womb. And Freud thought men had “return to the womb” issues…
  • It didn’t smell *nearly* as bad as a men’s locker room. Ladies, for all your protestations that women’s locker rooms smell just as funky as a guy’s locker room, you have obviously never been in a men’s locker room after football practice. Obviously this was part of the conspiracy to keep us out of your locker room. Sure, they don’t smell like flowers or fresh-baked pie, but it did smell slightly of doughnuts due to the poll workers having a complete craft service table set up for the two workers that were there***.

All told though, my voting went pretty smoothly. Of course, that was probably bcause I was the 15th person to vote in my district. I expect things to get much nastier later today when it all comes down to the wire. Hey, is anyone having a riot-watching party tonight?

* Seriously, there were close to 100 of them, almost none of which I had heard anything about. How can there be millions of dollars spent on negative ads for governor and congressional seats but *zero* spent on judges? How can I be an informed voter if I don’t know whom to hate and/or fear the most?
** Don’t try to pretend it doesn’t happen, ladies, we men know what really goes on in there when we’re not there voting – we’ve seen the late-night documentaries on Cinemax.
*** Glad to see my tax dollars are being spent wisely!

4 comments:

KC said...

I'll be voting after work today. Since I've moved within the last year, I will be going to a new polling place and I KNOW the parking around there sucks. I'm looking forward to voting, but not to walking several blocks in the rain to get there.

Spice said...

One of the more entertaining things I saw on the national news last night was a story in which they explained that the average age of poll workers is 72, and that one person described the average age of workers in their precinct as "deceased." Hee! I've worked at the polls a number of times in Madison, and these things are always true:

1. The oldest, most-hard-of-hearing person will be the captain.

2. There will be 2-3 other elderly people who will have worked at this polling place for 15+ years. They and the captain will tell you many stories about working at the polls.

3. Any poll workers under the age of 55 will be treated like they are stupid children who could not possibly understand how to do something like checking off a person's name on a list or putting consecutive numbers of slips of paper without 20+ minutes of explanation and substantial oversight for the rest of the day.

4. At some point, everyone except the younger poll workers will become confused by some technological issue or technical question about registration, etc. They will ignore the fact that the younger poll workers will have figured out what to do and will instead spend 15 or so minutes trying to figure out how to use a cell phone to call election HQ, and then scream (recall that they can't hear) into said phone until they get an answer.

Anonymous said...

As for the judges, usually one of the major papers publishes a report compiling all of the ratings from the local bar associations (all 11 or 13 or whatever), and that can give you a good idea who NOT to vote for. It's not super-sophisticated, but my general rule of thumb is if the Women's & LGBT Bar Associations have marked a judge as Not Recommended, I vote no.

grrrbear said...

Spice: Check, check, and *check*. The oldsters had pretty much relegated the one young person to managing the doughnut table when I was there. No wonder we never get involved.

Anonymous: Good call on the Women's and LGBT Bar Ass'ns. Just wait until next time all you corrupt judges!

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