By Sara Gibson
Ah, election day in the Bay Area. If you're expecting to fight your way through a crowd of protesting rebel youth, only to be greeted by a gender-neutral poll worker named Sunshine who points your way to the voting both with his/her braided armpit hair, well – no. It's actually a fairly sincere, earnest day around these parts, and if you know how many irony-loving hipsters live here, you know that's saying something. My polling place is the local middle school, a squat gray building with too little parking. Middle-aged men and women cheerfully greeted me, then debated over whether or not I needed a provisional ballot, and whether said ballot needed to be marked in some special way, since I was supposed to have voted absentee. "Here's another one that doesn't have it," one of the poll workers remarked, making me feel like a bad girl. "I guess she votes provisional?" another said. I was now imagining my vote at the bottom of a dumpster somewhere. Eventually they handed me a ballot and pointed me to a rickety, not-very-private table where I drew lines to connect arrows pointing at the candidates' names I wanted, a satisfyingly simple method. Seven minutes later, I stuffed the ballot into its envelope, dropped it into the ballot box, looked worriedly towards the poll workers now checking their PowerPoint document for instructions on handling provisional ballots, said a little prayer, grabbed my "I voted" sticker, and left.
Ho-hum, business as usual. But here in California, it's not the polls that are chock full o' crazy, it's the ballot. The governor's race is between Meg "The eBay lady" Whitman and Jerry "Governor Moonbeam" Brown. Meg is really into running the state like a corporation, building a border fence and attack ads. Jerry used to date Linda Ronstadt. (I know! Awesome, right?) Ex Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is running for Senate, and most seem to agree that she would be an effective, dynamic congressional leader. Of course, she wants to repeal Roe v. Wade, the health care bill and most gun-control measures. Depending on what you think of that, efficacy might not be such a good thing. And then there's a whole host of coma-inducing propositions involving redistricting, tax liabilities, marijuana legalization… whoa there. That's right, screw you Amsterdam! Prop 19 promises potential increased tax revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars while simultaneously mellowing everybody the f*ck out. Of course, it blatantly conflicts with federal law and has some clauses written into it that might give the biggest pothead pause. But one has to step back and marvel that this great state actually has a proposition on the ballot for legalizing and regulating marijuana, something no other state has ever had the cojones to do. Like 2Pac said, California knows how to party.
Tags: Amazing True Voting Stories!, California, Cramming for Midterms, Election Day