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Voting Time

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I did it. I have participated in my own rape.

For the first time, I found voting to be an ugly and repugnant experience. The process was quick, at least. During my short wait, election judges commented that turnout had been quite high so far, with one-hour waits at the open. The entire ordeal was over in under 10 minutes, thanks to my lack of enthusiasm for writing in cartoon characters* against the dozens of unopposed judges.

The election judge responsible for manning the tabulator was a familiar neighborhood marxist wacko. After listening to his bizarre conspiracy theories over the years, I simply do not trust him. Any necessary adjustments to the precinct outcome would not be criminal, but simply justice.

The judge responsible for verifying my identity did not do so. It’s a person I recognize from many past elections, and perhaps I was granted a familiar indulgence. I have to cling to that belief. Otherwise, all one would need do is know the name and address of a voter to cast a ballot in their name.

Such a fraud would be an informed vote, in some sense much better than the ill-informed and marginally engaged prospects I imagine were turned out by two separate waves of door-knockers this morning. Such get-out-the-vote efforts are offering false enfranchisement. One who did not know it was election day, or did not know about the central candidates, is not intellectually qualified to participate in an election. Such a person is only prepared for an emotional outburst. A rape.

The elevation of participation over substance highlights the “American Idol” quality of modern elections. Democracy is well-described as two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. The United States was constituted to limit the power of the wolves, not just to be sure the sheep had a voice. Turnout and participation are not enshrined in the Constitution. These are:

The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.

Anyone ultimately propelled to the polling place by last-minute door knocking is unlikely to honor the argument and theory behind this law. Wolves are more opportunist than circumspect.

In the end, I couldn’t vote for Yosemite Sam. I want Obama to lose, but the lesser of two evils was still too evil. So I went for Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s refreshingly un-crazy nominee. Should Barry carry my Minnesota by less than a thousand votes, I’ll feel even worse.

As it happened, I suppose I was an “undecided” voter. My choice changed in the last 72 hours. But I do not feel I was the kind of undecided the media cares about.

Down the ballot, in the Senate I had to go for the former Democrat over the former comedian. The former bus driver (and former Senator) had an appeal on principle. I like encouraging minor party candidates; it helps prevent the leader sheep from sacrificing parts of their flock. Given the 90+% probability of Barry winning, I am most concerned about blocking “living constitutionalist” nominees to the Supreme Court.

On local issues—the ones I insist matter most—I opposed the State sales tax increase, but favored making the Minneapolis School Board become geographically-representative instead of continuing the all-at-large system. And I even voted for a lefty, for school board.

Now I need a long hot shower, from the inside out.


*Daffy Duck did appear, as he has on every ballot I have cast. This time, for the soil & water conservation board. If all my candidates for conservation board win, Daffy will be seated with SpongeBob SquarePants.