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November 05, 2002

The Process of Voting Voting

The Process of Voting

Voting is important, and I have tried to be, for most of my voting career, someone who takes this responsibility seriously and makes an effort to vote each time an election is held. Admittedly, I haven’t always known who all of the candidates were, instead opting to vote along party lines the first few times I participated, but now that has changed for me.

I am still a registered Democrat, but try to remain open-minded about elections and not make decisions based only along party lines. Instead, I try to learn about the candidates, at least the major ones, and then make an educated decision.

I am beginning to think that the people standing in the rain in front of voting sites who hand out everything from keychains to candy with a candidate’s name on them, have a greater impact on the smaller races than on the larger ones. For example, the race between Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles will be won on advertisements and debates, not because somebody was giving out free cans of Dole pineapple chunks with Libby’s face on them. However, I believe that the smaller elections could easily be won from these methods or other small occurrences. For example, when 12 people are running for some office without party affiliation, do most people vote for the first 2 listed? Do they pick the ones with the coolest names, or because they are holding a comb with a candidate’s name on it?

Honestly, I don’t know who everyone is on the ballot, like for clerk judges and sheriffs and end up making those decisions based on a variety of factors. Today, as I walked into the voting site my decision on who to support in the election for sheriff was determined by the folks standing outside campaigning for various people. One man was making a point of handing out cards to people walking in, people who happened to be well-dressed. I, on the other hand, came home from work, put on an old hat and a pair of shorts and paraded my child with me to the voting booth. It was obvious that he turned away from me, made some short comment to my daughter (“Hi”) and avoided making eye contact. It was only after the other people started handing me stuff that he followed me towards the building to hand me stuff.

Screw him!! I may have looked like trailer trash, but that doesn’t mean that my vote doesn’t count. I wanted to piss on him, but realized that would do little to change whatever opinion he had of my importance. The fact that I thought that through shows that I am developing cognitively, just maybe not as quickly as I should be. It will be interesting to watch the results tonight (a sign I am getting older) and see if my people won. I, like Bigwig, gave my support to Erskine Bowles, a man whose name sounds like a body part, which may mean his chances of winning are slim. But I wonder how many of the smaller races were decided because of a smile, a “thank you”, a piece of candy, or a business card. At least one vote was cast because of a small behavior, but I’m sure my experience is not unique.

Sure, one vote does matter, and so do the actions of all the people who may associate themselves with a particular candidate. I might think of running for an office, but I’m sure someone would conduct a background search and Bigwig might sing like a canary so for now I will just cast votes and not try to gain any.

Posted by Woundwort at November 5, 2002 03:34 PM | TrackBack
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