Friday, October 24, 2008

Early Voter

So I went to vote a couple of days ago, and was flabbergasted by the line; the parking lot was full, it was 1:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday, and the line snaked through the Brentwood Library almost to the lobby!

I wasn't alone in my befuddlement; everyone seemed surprised by the 15-20 minute wait. I have always provided for potential distraction with my Palm Pilot which has some nice solitaire games on it, so it was an easy wait for me, but if I had not, I would have just found a book on a shelf and started reading, which I expected other folks to do. But no-one in front or behind me did so, which I thought was rather sad; why not combine a visit to the library with voting!

As we drifted by, I asked the nice information desk lady (she WAS nice; she spoke cheerfully) if the library staff were annoyed by the invasion; she was perfectly fine with it, and said she looked upon it as an opportunity to put up signs about library services to a captive audience - brochures and posters were placed within reach of the line. I asked her if it was always so crowded, and she said that it tended to thin out after 5 pm. But she also said that the day before, they'd had 1,313 voters come through, and that was an average day!

I wonder if anyone will be left to vote on the 4th...

What's interesting is that despite the fact that my electoral responsibilities are done, I am still listening to coverage and candidate statements and developments as though I still have a decision to make! I am DONE, and yet the dang campaign lingers.

It feels like it will never be over... like a Reality TV Show that seeks to give the audience weekly footage from the 4 final contestants. It IS Survivor/Big Brother/Project Runway/America's Next Top Model. Depending on who the editors decide to label as a villain or as the hero that week, we get some of the same jumping through hoops, competitions, and speeches to the audience and their fellow contestants. Sleep-deprived, isolated, pushed to their physical & talent limits, they will never get off the island, they will always have to make one more dress.

This is why I find I just can't get interested in Survivor or the Amazing Race the last few seasons - because every day I am forced to watch reality programming that uses all of the same show elements, but with infinitely higher stakes. And I am FULL. I have consumed enough of it.

What makes it discouraging for me is the knowledge that these voting machines are so easily hacked. I feel like my vote has no real value. I fear the election is going to boil down to which party has better hackers on the payroll.


Mike Howell said...

Attention either party: I accept cash or paypal.

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