Friday, May 19, 2017

Choose for Yourselves This Day

In the fifth month of the year, on the appointed day, you shall hold a solemn ceremony. This is the ritual of sacrifice you shall make.

You shall shake yourself from the dust and arise; lo, even before the morning newspaper is before your dwelling you shall have your loins girded.  You shall fill your backpack with mule-loads of snacks and books. But woe unto you for packing your snacks into a paper bag: a paper bag makes more noise than all the chariots of Egypt, and you shall wake the family.

And you shall make haste on that morn to the polling place by dawn or 6 AM, which ever seems earlier.  For you are charged this day with setting up iVotronic machines; it has been decreed that you shall follow the ordinances found in the Election Officers Reference Manual.  You shall not delay to tape all manner of official notices to the wall, for this is democracy:  you shall post an exceeding mighty number of documents that no one will read. Lo, you shall also affix your signature to documents more numerous than the stars.  You shall swear unto the Board of Elections that you did not bet on the outcome of the election.
My official badge of office

Behold! There shall be tidings of great joy that morning when you find that there are only six absentee ballots, for they are vexatious and must be tallied by hand.

You shall have set before you the file-card box of democracy.  In it shall you find the voter cards of both parties; you shall not separate them by the house of their party affiliation. The cards for Dems and Reps shall be joined together in one box, for it is an abomination to ask the voters to state their party out loud. In a great kindness to you, the wife of your Judge of Election has seen fit to combine the voter cards of both parties into the one box; lo, she has even alphabetized the cards for you.  This is just and merciful.

Take you the book of all the congregation of the registered voters, and open it before you, to check signatures.  If an independent voter shall sojourn among you, saying to you, “I wish to vote today,” you must send him away.  If the voter’s wrath burns hot, you shall say to him, “Why is your countenance fallen?  You have not chosen wisely: In order to vote you must be either D or R this day.  This is the way your forefathers have designed the primary election.  Just because you are a youth, ruddy and good-looking, do not think that you know better than your elders.  You may write to the ancient masters in the State House and Senate and exact from them an open primary.”

And the young voter will say unto you, “Ha. That’s ridiculous.  I am not writing to the State House or the State Senate.”  He shall depart from you, nursing his anger within him. And you shall hang your head with shame at the ordinances of your state, which seem to be leftover from the 18th century.

And on that day, the wolf shall dwell with the lamb; Republican shall sit next to Democrat and make pleasant and bland conversation all the day long.  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  You shall speak of gardening, and crock pot recipes, of yard work and travel to Nebraska; of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.

Be careful to obey this commandment, lest you incur the wrath of the Board of Elections: you shall not speak of partisan politics; neither may you wear clothing endorsing your candidate.  Even though your very name is on the ballot for an office one notch below Catcher of Dogs, your mouth may not utter of it.

Photos are strictly forbidden in the polling place.
I downloaded this sample ballot beforehand.


As the day approaches the fifth hour of the evening, a great, momentous and special vote must take place.  This is the vote for pizza.  And lo, you and your fellow poll-workers shall choose pizza with pineapple and Canadian bacon. Likewise shall you choose pizza with mushrooms and peppers.  This is what democracy looks like.
Primary election day texting to
Younger Daughter, who had the
whole day off of school
to lounge around.

Let not your hearts be troubled when you find that by the noon hour, you have processed 55 voters which is 11 voters per hour. Though at the poll closing, after 13 hours of mind-numbing boredom, there are only 139 ballots cast, do not be weary of democracy.  The system shall render to the populace what they deserve.  If the people of the land wish for a mere fifteen percent of the eligible voters to decide who shall judge and who shall direct the school board, then they shall neither complain nor gnash their teeth.  If the citizens of the county wish to pay $175,000+ of their own tax money for an election they won’t show up for, then lo, that is their problem.

                                                                                   - The Book of Admonitions 5:16-6:20

Post election-day notes:
This blog post is not nearly as long and boring as primary election day is for a poll worker. 

Also, autocorrect changes “primary” to “Pretty Mary.”

Also, I won the primary election for the office I was running for.  (It's not too hard when you are running against somebody named "Write-in.") This means that, come November, I have to do this all over again, except it will be darker when I get to the polling place at 6 AM.


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Also, you really should vote in the primary election.  For the sake of democracy.  I mean, you’ve already paid for it, you might as well vote.

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