Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Lock the Vote

Well... here we are.

I don’t know about you, but I for one will terribly miss the various electoral count scenarios. Nothing like reloading Drudge every four seconds for updates on how if Bush wins New Mexico, Florida and Colorado and Kerry claims Massachusetts plus Detroit and the vote of Rodney Dangerfield, we will definitely, depending on the turnout of transvestite nuns in the Northern states and middle aged half-Hispanic males who take their cheeseburgers without mustard, perhaps know the outcome of the election between 1 AM and the next total eclipse of the sun as determined by high tide in Japan and how many times Tom Brokaw has wiped his ass today. The polls are great too: “Well, Bush is up by one in Ohio and OH Kerry is pulling away in Pennsylvania but wait Gallup has them neck and neck EEEE here come the Zogby numbers…”

If it weren’t for these pesky morals, and also the fact that I look like crap in bright orange, I’d be in Ohio right now, double-voting. It seems I’m still registered there, according to my parents, who have been fielding all the campaign literature and voter registration information flooding into their mailbox under my name. So I told my sister to trot Jim the Baby Nephew to the polls in my place.

“Are you taking him into the booth with you?” I asked.

“He will stay in his stroller,” she told me.

I asked to speak to him.

“Jailbreak,” I said.

Jim thought about it for a minute, and then said “Aaaaaaaaaannnnwwww!” which I took as a solid Bush lean.

Also, if Barbra Streisand is reading this? LOSE MY NUMBER, Babs. She called my house at nine in the morning and I slammed down the phone so fast the nightstand crashed through the floor. I let Rudy Giuliani get three or four words out before hanging up on him, but really… admit it, fellow swing state voters, all these famous people calling us? I’m going to have trouble letting go of that. I am NEEDED! Until approximately four hours from now, when Curt Schilling will no longer give a rat’s ass about my political concerns. But until then, I am totally being used, and it is awesome!

I won’t be at the polls today, because through the magic of fraud I’ve already had my say via early voting. As you may recall, my vote here in Florida is so important, so vital, that it went from my apartment to the post office and directly back to my apartment again.

So I called the Board of Elections, and was on hold for twenty minutes, which totally confirmed my suspicion that my experience was a complete fluke and I was the only person in the whole entire state to have issues with casting my ballot. I was told to turn in my ballot at my early voting location, a branch library, which sounded like a good idea until I went in the door and the librarians all looked to be in various stages of homicidal.

The line was enormous. Optimistic dip that I am, I was under the impression that my visit would merely involve dropping my ballot in a box, but noooooooo, this would make sense, so I queued on up. After a time it became clear that I was in danger of realizing my absolute worst nightmare—being trapped in a boring place without a book—so I ducked into the Mystery section and got me some Dick Francis. Read four chapters before we passed the bathrooms.

One woman eyed me enviously. “Aren’t you smart to have brought a book!” she said. Yeah, too bad we were in a LIBRARY and she couldn’t lay her hands on anything to READ.

Now, I’m very proud to be casting my ballot for the President, and I’m sure that Kerry voters are also...well, I’m sure… okay, let’s just say that everybody has a right to their opinion. I myself follow a hard-and-fast guideline at the polls that may be referred to as The Dixie Chicks Rule: You have your say in the booth. Otherwise? STFU.

I was thrilled to see that the opposing side adhered to this as well. One woman popped up in line wearing a Kerry button, which… You know what, I WAS going to vote for Bush, but NOW? Now that I’ve seen your BUTTON I have totally changed my mind.

So I regarded her as merely another American having her say, and stood quietly.

She did not.

I didn’t catch everything she said, but I did hear “Karl Rove… oil…frat boy” float down the line, which gave me a general idea of what was going on up there. The people around me began to shift uncomfortably.

“I give her ninety seconds to a ‘Hailliburton,’” I said to Dick Francis' author photo.

“And, you know, Cheney is knee-deep in…”

The line crawled. I began to crave a sausage biscuit.

The American democratic process is not a perfect system, but it is a great nation that can include on its ballot both the sitting President AND Ralph Nader, who has clearly begun to believe that he deserves to be king because some watery tart threw a sword at him.

When I got to the front I held out my stamped, cancelled, trod-upon absentee ballot and asked for further direction. The envelope was checked for evidence of tampering and a proper signature across the back. Then things got complicated.

The poll worker pointed to a box. “Put it in there,” she said.

It had a huge padlock on it and a plastic strip to signify that the box hadn’t been tampered with for at least the last twenty minutes. Well, if nothing else, Florida gave Al Gore his lockbox.

I put my vote in the box, but although I kissed the envelope AND the mailbox for luck the first time I attempted to cast it, I did not plant one on the lockbox, because that would be weird.

Election Extra from Dennis Miller:


1) Did you register?
2) Did you bring ID?
3) Did you take your head out of your ass before arriving at the polls?

P.S.: I'll be heavily updating throughout the day--by which I mean maybe twice--so if yesterday's very important post about cookies gets knocked off the page, go here.

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