Tuesday, February 05, 2008

suspenseful tuesday

In the end, I went with Obama. Whereas Hillary is a bit of a moderate who’s rabidly despised by Republicans, Obama seems like a progressive who’s managed to convince people he’s Mr. Nonpartisan. Also, he’s worldly in the most literal sense, which I think we need right now. But even as I inked my ballot, I wanted to give Hillary a hug.

My polling place—an Eagles lodge in Eagle Rock (how American is that?)—was pleasantly busy, making me realize how not busy the polling places in my two previous neighborhoods (West Adams and Mid-City) usually were. I could observe that both those areas were poorer and more heavily African American, whereas Eagle Rock is pretty mixed and middle class, and I could speculate that the lines were probably really long in Santa Monica.

But this election is all about optimism, right? So let’s assume that voter turnout is high all around the city today, that my previous polling places—a Baptist church and a Presbyterian church—are packed right now with people excited about electing somebody who is not George W. Bush.

That’s the best part. No matter who wins the general election, it will not be George W. Bush. Unless it’s Mitt Romney, who really is George W. Bush, but who, luckily, is as boring as he is evil and inarticulate.

If you haven’t voted yet, I highly recommend doing so. You’ll come away with a sticker, a story about how disorganized and archaic our electoral system is but how charming old people are (“I don’t see your address…oh wait, here it is. When you’re done, give your ballot to the little Oriental lady over there…well, she’s not there right now, but she’ll be back in a minute”) and that satisfied if tentative feeling that you’re doing something to get us out of this mess.


Hyperion said...

I agree with finding the whole experience charming. I wanted to give America a big ol' hug.

And God bless old people. NOW I know why we keep them around.

erin said...

As NPDTS voters (and of course that's non-partisan-decline-to-state) our voting mailer told ER and me that we had the option of getting the Democratic ballot, the Independent Party ballot, or the nonpartisan ballot. We both made the mistake of thinking we made that decision *at* our electronic voting booth, as opposed to *before* we were directed to a booth by a nice poll worker.
Not the case. Fortunately I didn't hit "cast ballot" when I realized I had gotten to the end and hadn't yet voted for Hillary (after reading "Living History" a few years back I decided I really want her to be president... and I find Obama to be a little too celebrity (the Oprah endorsement backfired for me) and a little lacking in substance) and I was able to cancel that nonpartisan ballot and get the Democratic ballot. Poor ER pressed "cast ballot" without realizing that meant she *didn't* get to vote for Hillary. She was pissed all day long at having gone to the polls only to vote on propositions we didn't fully understand, anyway. Hopefully we at least set a lesson for the nice old ladies at our polling place... to make it clear that when they say "NPDTS?" and the person responds "yes?" to make sure they know they're getting a nonpartisan ballot and won't be voting in a primary unless they specifically ask for the Dem or Ind ballot.

Cheryl said...

Hyp: This is like the Year of Niceness. I think it's nice.

Erin: That's so infuriating. If a voting system is confusing to politically active people with master's degrees and PhDs, IT IS NOT A GOOD SYSTEM.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of the voting experience yesterday was when the poll worker responsible for finding my name and having me sign the book shouted out to the poll worker at the far end of the table, "She'll take a Democratic ballot!"

Everyone in the old folks home where we vote now knows how I'm registered.

Mandy said...

I voted for Hilary though I will be happy if any Democrat gets into the White House and cleans up the mess left by W. I've had numerous debates with co-workers both in my office and on their blogs about Hilary vs. Obama . I like the guy and am glad he's energizing people like never before but the Oprah endorsement sort of turned me off to him. I did my homework and researched both candidates before making my decision-honestly, how many of Oprah's fans would do the same? I just don't like the fact that some people are blindly going to the polls and voting for Obama only because of the celebrity that is backing him. (Yeah, I know--other celebs are backing other candidates too but thus far, none have been more vocal in their support than Oprah.) My point was somewhat proven today when one of the other reporters jumped into the
discussion and said he only voted for Obama because Scarlett Johannson supports Obama and since she's hot, that's all it took to convince him who to vote for.

If nothing else, the election this year is actually getting people to turn out at the polls and get energized about making a difference and believing that their vote will count.

Cheryl said...

B52: If your body turns up in a ditch somewhere, we'll know the Republican senior citizens did it.

Mandy: I guess that's why Mike Huckabee is doing better than expected: because Chuck Norris is so hot.