This afternoon, like so many other Americans, I left my house during the short amount of time I had allotted for lunch and, walking several blogs up Racine away from my and onto Belmont, found myself faced with an existentially difficult decision: Footlong Polish Sausage with Everything on It or Wait in Line and Vote for People Who Don't Care About Me…
In the end, I did the right thing and, for the second day in a row, ate Halloween candy for lunch.
I've heard some liberals complain about churches being used as voting places, because apparently being around all that God stuff makes people vote more conservatively. Well, my voting place wasn't a church. In fact, it was maybe the exact opposite of a church: a theater venue…
I have my suspicions about how such a place will influence voters' choices…
Tags: Amazing True Voting Stories!, Chicago, Election Day, Illinois
by Maggie Sandford
It was a lovely, crisp, Autumn, American day as I headed over to Hancock Elementary to do my civic bidness. Outside, a rainbow of children from all ethnic backgrounds played kickball in perfect harmony (including one girl with a totally rockin’ jilbab printed with blue lightning. Jea-lous). On the way in, an appropriately named candy machine caught my eye: "The Challenger." They should obviously have one next to it called "The Incumbant." Now that's educational.
As I entered the gymnasium, the shoddy athletically themed murals and vague smell of children sweat reminded me why I was there: for that sticker. There was no line, so I marched up to the election volunteer and told her so. "I'm S-A-N-D-F-O-R-D, which means I'm in the K-Z book," I said, proud that my alphabet skills were still enviably sharp. (Beat that, lightning jilbab girl.)
The volunteer looked up from her knitting, and very politely told me that "Another volunteer is outside with the K-Z book, helping a very old woman vote curbside, because she can’t make it this far. It'll be just a few minutes."
Only slightly daunted, I sat on the bleachers while a trickle of K-Z citizens formed a line behind a grey-haired woman in a fringed buckskin jacket and running shoes. I watched the volunteer explain about the special "voting pens" between bites of her salami sandwich. I watched as a middle-aged woman with dreds and a Vikings jacket slipped her completed ballot into the BallotShure 8500.
"This is beautiful," I thought, grinning earnestly at a sour, wealthy-looking woman who probably thought I was going to cancel out her votes.
I hope that very old woman at the curbside got her sticker.
Tags: Amazing True Voting Stories!, Election Day, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
I showed up at my voting location today like everyone else: expecting to get machete'd to death by The New Black Panthers or musket'd to death by The Tea Party. Well, as you can see in the picture below, there wasn't a New Black Panther or Tea Partier to be found, just lots of well-hidden ninjas, and they weren't in a killing mood, so I unfortunately had to vote.
There were two particularly interesting things about today's experience. First of all, it was the only time in my life when I've been fairly certain that every single candidate I chose is going to lose, at least since I stopped voting a straight Whig ticket. So that was kind of weird. And it's not like I'm in love with any of my candidates of choice either, so casting my ballot gave me the same feeling of futility I get whenever I buy a ticket for a raffle where there's a 10,000,000 to 1 chance of winning a case of furnace filters. Democracy!
The other thing of note concerns my district's State Senate race, which has a surprising Comedy Central angle (synergy!) One of the two independent candidates is a guy named John Stewart, and he's running against a Tea Party-endorsed Republican named Colbeck, who I can only hope is some sort of genetic amalgam of Stephen Colbert and Glenn Beck. Unfortunately for both Stewart and Colbeck though, I didn't vote for either of them, instead casting my ballot for Whig candidate Cartman Battlebots.
Tags: Amazing True Voting Stories!, Michigan, Midterms
Little-known fact about Maine politicians: you can hypnotize them by standing them on their heads and rubbing their carapaces. It sounds crazy, I know, but it works every time. And it's not half as crazy as the election season we've had up here.
Republican Paul LePage is poised to become the state's first Republican governor since 1995 and its first tea party-backed governor since, well, ever. He's best known for swearing and storming out of press conferences, and if by some chance he loses this election he is widely expected to pursue a career in fiction.
Many Maine and national Democrats, meanwhile, have slammed "borderline racist" flyers that used clumsy racial stereotypes to attack Eliot Cutler, an independent candidate who's been gaining in the polls. Ugh, those insensitive, xenophobic jerks who've taken control of the Repub– What's that? Oh, right, those flyers were issued by the Maine Democratic Party. Their gubernatorial candidate is Libby Mitchell, a nice if unexciting lady who's been in the state legislature since approximately 1932 and therefore — under the current rules of politics — is a greater threat to our well-being than a barrel full of radioactive moose droppings.
But perhaps the most fascinating issue is one facing voters in Portland, where voters are deciding whether or not to have a popularly-elected mayor. Up till now Portland's mayor has been chosen by the city council, a process that probably involves a drinking competition of some sort, which is bad? Or good? An unscientific poll of registered voters in my apartment shows some ambivalence on the question, but opponents of the referendum have taken to the streets with signs like the one pictured above.
So in the interest of investigative "journalism" I just Googled mayoral corruption, and now my mind's made up. Look at that list of results! I definitely do not want Brazilian finance minister Antonio Palocci to be the mayor of Portland, ever.
Tags: Amazing True Voting Stories!, Election Day, Maine
By Joselyn Hughes
After pressing snooze seven times, I rolled out of bed and headed to my local polling place.
In CA, the issues making the most waves have been Prop 19 (legalization of marijuana) and the gubernatorial race between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. Because unlike the movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger cannot "come back" for another term as governor. Yeah, I said it.
To be honest, I kind of expected to see Prop 19 supporters standing outside the elementary cafeteria where we voted, (aka Dancing Cannabis plants, jam bands, etc.) but the only thing I found was a discarded poster. Hopefully that person was more skilled at filling out a ballot than they were at using a Sharpie.
And even though I hadn't been up this early since I was in high school, I managed to cast my ballot and go about my day.
Tags: Amazing True Voting Stories!, California, Cramming for Midterms, Election Day