Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day - Updated Till the End

7:00 am - Alarm goes off... Grrrr!!!

7:10 am - Alarm goes off again...

7:14 am - pangs of guilt starting to spread through my body since I am not springing out of bed and dashing to the polling place to carry out my civil duty. Decide not to wait for the next snooze alarm to go off.

7:30 am - out the door.

7:32 am - walk past my former polling place which is now for district 10 instead of district 2... Stupid district 10... Now I have to walk to somewhere around the New York border.

7:40 am - still walking...

7:50 am - still walking... But I am bounding past old the old people also walking to the polling place... At least Bush's senior citizen medication bill was so bad none of these old people I am passing can afford their arthritis medication, so they are especially slow now. They will be standing behind yours truly when they get to the District Poll.

7:53 am - get to my precinct. Sweet, no line out the door. Looks like that brisk walk paid off.

7:54 am - go inside... Holy mother of... Little did I know that this building could hold so many people inside. Looks can be deceiving.

8:00 am - check my blackberry. Get a double whammy. Bush takes Dixville Notch NH 19-7. At least that is 5 votes better than Gore did. Also see the Ohio voter challenge ruling has been overturned. I can just hear the giddiness in Karl Roves voice and the scramble of 10,000 republican feet to the minority neighborhoods to try to block every 1st-15th generation American that walks through the door.

8:20 am - Both the man in front of me and the woman behind me are calling into their offices to tell them they would be late. Haven't they been watching the news? Did they really think they would be in and out? I told my boss not to expect me before Thursday...

8:46 am - finally hit the stairwell to the second floor.

9:02 am - reach the head of the line to check in. Greeted by a panel of 4 poll workers. They are all older than the wind, but some of the nicest people this side of St. Paul. They easily find my name and check me off... Damn it! A lawyers worst nightmare... no conflict!... Bums out my whole morning. I go to secondary line to use the voting booth. Pick the line that looks like it has the most republicans in it. They tend to vote line Republican more than Democrats do in these parts.

9:03 am - Read the giant print out of the city charter initiatives. Oooo... changing the term of the City Parks Commissioner from 2 years to 4 years... sound like a scorcher issue.

9:14 am - My line moves the fastest. I give myself a little pat on the back for thinking ahead... got to give the efficiency award to the Repubs.

9:16 am - enter the voting booth and pull the lever... the curtain closes behind me. Oh, the decisions... Bush or Kerry, Bush or Kerry? Oh, what the hell, I'll vote Kerry. He's got better teeth... Next - House - Republican Chris Shays or Democrat Diane Farrell. This is an actual tough one. Farrell is a Democrat. I think I may have even pitched in a couple bucks to her campaign, but I also really like Shays. He is the type of Republican I can actually get behind because he is fiscally conservative but socially progressive and cares about the environment. I wish more Democrats and Republicans were more like him... So, I flip the lever for Shays. After all, you are voting for the person, not the party. That is why I am a registered Independent. Pull the lever for Dodd... Good Democrat... I vote against the term extension for the Parks Commissioner... I want to keep him honest damn it!

9:18 am - I pull the big red lever... My heart stops beating. Am I doing it right? did I have all the right people checked? Was Buchanan on the ballot? Chink-Chink... It's all over now.

9:19 am - I bound out the door, happy to have preformed my civic duty, my right, my obligation! God bless this great country of ours!

9:23 am - walk the other direction past Mrs. Whipple, still making her way to the polling precinct. Briefly think about offering her a piggy back ride the last block but then decide as nice as it might sound in my own head, it probably would not sound so great coming out of my mouth. Just wave and keep on trucking. I have to still change and catch the train into work.

11:00 am - finally get into work. Scan the internet for voter suppression complaints against the Repubs... Nothing yet... Good, maybe they finally decided they want to join us in an actual democracy, not an oligarchy. But I doubt this will last too long.

1:46 pm - waiting sucks! So, I decide to answer some comments posted to my blog while I was on vacation. One struck me as note worthy - the commenter said in regards to the poll challengers, "If you were a legal voter would you be intimidated by this tactic? Sounds like they were trying to prevent fraud. Is that wrong?" Theoretically, the poster is right, there would be nothing wrong with the tactic. If theoretics were true though, we would not need the 4th Amendment, but theoretics are not accurate at the polling booth anymore than they are in criminal law. Let me put it this way. Have you ever been in a restaurant and have your credit card declined even though you know there is no reason for it? You may know that you have not reached your limit and that you have made your payments on time, but the mere fact that the waiter looks at you with the sly "deadbeat" look is still embarrassing. There is no reason to be embarrassed because you are not a deadbeat, but you still are embarrassed none-the-less. The same thing is true at the polling place. If someone questions my right to vote, and I have to get out of line while the challenge is disputed, it is embarrassing and may discourage people from voting. Additionally, it makes everyone's wait longer. Everyone in line has other things to do. If the person at the end of line gets paid by the hour, he/she may not be able to afford to wait 2+ hours in line. Would you want to double your wait time either? So, yes, challenges do intimidate people.

4:21 pm - Waiting still sucks... work still sucks. Little news of controversy. There are some sporadic reports by both Dems and Repubs of fraud, intimidation, etc. We'll have to see how big the problems are later. Even checked overseas news sites.

4:31 pm - Just heard the radio report that the Marines are on the verge of retaking Falluja. If you are religious, please say an extra prayer. If you are not, keep them in your thoughts.

5:02 pm - Read the early exit polling from the Drudge report. It came out a little later than I though it would... lost bet with co-worker... no soft pretzel for me. Don't put any faith in the reports. Exit polls are a very poor predictor of final reports and don't forget about the 25% of the population that voted early.

5:59 pm - If you want to read some of the Jackass things both parties are trying to pull to supress the vote, go here (Link). Proud non-partisan Jackass hater since 1973

6:15 pm - Zogby International is calling it for Kerry (I highly believe this to be a hoax, but if even not, the sampling is just too small and too much time left). East cost, you have an hour and a half left (except NY) rest of the country, you still have plenty of time to get to the polls. VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! If any of you are still undecided (god, I have no idea how), use history as your barometer - the Redskins lost Sunday (even with out the help of Steve Spurrier). When ever the Redskins lose their final home game before the election, the incumbent always loses - 100% of the time. You can't fight fate... Succumb to your destiny... Vote Kerry... Trust me, meaningless correlations are never wrong...

6:42 pm - Order dinner from Hurley's Saloon. Not that you should much care, but I got a sirloin steak sandwich on French bread... Mmmm... steak. Some people think all liberals are vegetarians. This is patently untrue. I am an omnivore and damn proud of it. If God did not intend for us to eat animals, he would not have made them taste so good. I respect vegetarians for their beliefs and sticking to their principals, but for someone who grew up in the country, next to a dairy farm and also doing a brief stint in my grandfathers butcher shop, I am a meat eater. Plain and simple. As my roommate says, "bacon makes everything taste better."

P.S. never try to ride a cow... trust me. Especially when wearing cowboy spurs your father brought back from a trip to Mexico.

P.P.S. Dad, if you read this, it is just wrong, wrong, wrong not to explain to a 7 year old the difference between pesos and dollars. Seriously, do you know how bad I felt when I thought I had lost a pair of $350 spurs...

7:24 pm - Food arrives. They give me Hunt's ketchup instead of Heinz. Is this a bad omen? I am a hockey player... we are a very superstitious group.

7:35 pm - pools starting to roll in. 39 electoral votes for Bush, 3 for Kerry. Nothing dramatic here.

Kentucky - for Bush - good music, great booze, bad politics.
West Virginia - for Bush - Too bad, I was hoping they would come to their senses this election.
Indiana - for Bush - go figure. I know they are just doing this to me because Penn State beat them last year 55-0 in football. I admit, I kind of rubbed it in to some friends I have from Indiana, but getting me back like this, voting for Bush, is just plain ol' mean.

Vermont - for Kerry - Thank god for that Phish get out the vote campaign or this one could have been a squeaker.

8:07 pm - so far Bush 66, Kerry 77. But no surprises... nothing on the swing states. Stupid swing states... Obama has won. Cool, that guy kicks ass.

8:13 pm - Ok... got to make a break for it. Gotta get out of the office, make it down 23 floors, catch the F train home, walk flour blocks and then up 4 flights of stairs... time me... ready, GO!

8:38 pm - Just got in. Not too bad if I say so myself. Did I mention that I had a huge suitcase to tow along behind me. Walk in... My roommate is in her room, asleep I presume, so I have to use my blackberry to e-mail myself and then post later. EC count 102 bush, 77 kerry. Still no surprises.

8:51 pm - check the fridge. Only 3 beers. Not nearly enough to play election night drinking games... The good thing about NY... You can always get beer at the bodega. Not quite as easy as Louisiana where they have drive thru daiquiri shops, but oh well...

9:01 pm - 155 to 112. No surprises... Once again... Stupid swing states. They mock my pain...

9:11 pm - Bob Woodward is on. Great writer... Bad speaker.

9:16 pm - North Dakota goes for Bush. It doesn't surprise me, but it disappoints me. My step mother is from ND. Good hockey, great people. I really like ND, I wish they were going for Kerry.

10:00 pm - turn to the daily show... the only place to really get your news.

10:16 pm - Roommate wakes up and lets me use her computer. Thank you. She thinks I am crazy for watching... little does she know... I am...

11:05 pm - Some computers in Florida will only let you vote for Bush. Thanks to Debold corp, I am sure. PA goes for Kerry. The state of my birth. The state of the constitutional congress. Go State. Side note - Scott Peterno is running for congress. He is a childhood friend of mine. He is running as a Republican, but no one is perfect. No results on that one yet.

11:20 pm - Minnesota is looking good for Kerry... Com'on MN, Daddy needs a new pair of shoes...

... to be updated throughout the day.


Boomr said...

My own little version of the above. Wake up early, go back to sleep. Wake up an hour later, decide to move. Shower, shave, dress, forget my phone as I walk out the door. Walk 10 or so blocks to my polling place. As I'm entering, someone walks out and says "I only voted for the Presidential election," which causes me to scowl, as there were a Senate Race, a House race, a judge race, a sheriff race, a Civil Service Commission race, 5 or 6 state constitutional amendments, and a couple of other things on the ballot. These people deserve the corruption in New Orleans, but I don't. One of the amendments was to preserve the right of Louisianians to hunt and fish "as regulated by law." I'm wondering why a constitutional amendment needs to be in place if something is already regulated by law, so I vote no. The anti-gay marriage amendment was in an election a month or so ago, and passed with a resounding 79% or so much to my chagrin, so no other real controversies on the ballot.
I push the button to enter my votes, and there's a little ringing sound from the machine, like I won something. Just like Louisiana to make the voting booths sound like video poker. When I walk out, there are only 4 or 5 people in line to vote, and I'm wondering where everyone is. I walk outside to catch the streetcar, and there are about 50 people waving Kerry/Edwards and other democratic signs in the intersection. The streetcar takes me to a bus into the next town over, and all of a sudden the Kerry/Edwards signs disappear in favor of Bush/Cheney signs. No wonder: Jefferson Parish was David Duke country back when he almost won the gubernatorial election.
I make it into work, and before I can pour my coffee one of the other attorneys calls me a flaming liberal because I didn't vote for Bush (I'm like Dingo, registered independent, fiscally conservative, socially a bit more progressive). In the twenty or thirty steps from the coffee pot to my office, he spouted out 5 trite political catchphrases, and I realize that such aphorisms are the only way some people can feel intelligent in political conversation. Naturally, I feel superior, and draft a brilliant motion in limine. I'm heading to lunch, where I bet I don't hear one intelligent political comment all hour.
It's a boring and frustrating process, but vote anyway. Otherwise, no complaining for the next four years.

cleolove said...

I enjoyed this, maybe it was just the reference to how nice we Minnesotans are :P

Blog on!