Tag Archives: voting

Exorcising the franchise

No that’s not a typo, but a clever pun.

I’m just back from voting in my very local mayoral and ward council election. After a brief phone meeting that required my attention at 5 PM, I walked over the municipal center of Riverdale, Maryland to exercise my franchise. I’ve been reading while I walk more and more, as my supply of time becomes more limited. Naturally, I pay 80% of my attention to reading and only about 20% to walking (the “Parade-oh” problem; another terrible pun which only one or two IT people might get). I was therefore startled out of my reverie, when someone approached me vaguely and said, “Hi, Jamie, thanks for coming out.”

It was David Lingua, who is running for re-election as my ward councilman. I was rather taken aback. About a week ago, David came to my door to ask for my vote. Since I agreed with what he was doing, I told him that I would come out and vote for him. I had intended to do this and I did vote for him, as well as our mayor Vernon Archer, who ran unopposed, which is a shame to the democratic process, but whatever. I must say that I was severely impressed by the fact that Mr. Lingua remembered my name from that one meeting. I can’t remember someone’s name after 10 tries!

I am back from voting now and am about to settle down to read more of the outstanding Breakfast in the Ruins just as soon as I have some dinner. Having voted, you can say that I have officially exorcised my franchise!

What happened to the romance of voting?

I got to my polling place at 7:15 PM and there was a long line. It took 45 minutes to get through the line, and I cast my ballot just before 8 PM, when the polls close.

My voting record

Why some people don’t vote

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) discusses why he doesn’t vote on his blog and does so in what I think is a witty and amusing way. I always vote, but I appreciate what he is saying and also I think he’s just very funny. Check it out.

Late night

It went like this: I had TiVo’d the movie Prime on HBO several days ago and sat down to watch it this evening. That ended just in time for me to watch Heroes. A few minutes into the show, however, Norm called to talk about plans for this weekend. Fortunately, the show is on a “Season Pass” and was recording anyway. Nevertheless, I paused it. After talking to Norm, I had to call AJ, and once that was done, I had to call Norm back again. So when I finally got back to Heroes, 40 minutes had passed. I caught up as best as I could by skipping commercials. I then went on to watch Studio 60 which had its best episode so far. But even racing through the commercials, it was well after 11 and now its about midnight!

I am debating whether to vote in the morning or the evening tomorrow. If I vote in the evening, it will have to be after the gym, but the polls don’t close until 8 PM and I’ll have plenty of time. If I vote in the morning, I’ll be a little late into work and I’m on good work groove right now so I don’t know if I want to go in later.

I guess I’ll see in the morning.

At the polls…a decade ago

Midterm elections are just around the corner. And that means that ten years ago was a presidential election, the second one in which I ever voted and the first time I went to the actual polls to vote, rather than vote by absentee ballot. According to my diary entry for November 5, 1996:

I voted tonight–my first time voting at the polls rather than by absentee ballot. On the big choices, my votes were:

President: Bill Clinton
Representative, 25th District: Diane Trautman
Senator 19th District: John Birke
State Assembly: Jon Lauritzen
DA for Los Angeles: Gil Garcetti
Prop 204 (Clean water): YES
Prop 207 (Lawyers fees): YES
Prop 208 (Spending limits): YES
Prop 209 (Anti affirmative action): NO
Prop 211 (Securities fraud): NO
Prop 212 (Campaign contributions): YES
Prop 215 (Medical use of marijuana):

Ten years later, I probably would have voted the same knowing then what I know now. What’s interesting is that I didn’t record my vote for the marijuana issue. I honestly don’t recall how I voted. It is equally likely then that I voted either way. I simply can’t remember and it’s too bad I didn’t write it down. I did say the following, however, “It felt good to cast my vote. It made me feel important, it made me feel as though I really do have a say.”

More on voting Tuesday evening.

Primary Election Day 2006

By the time I got home from work, I had convinced myself not to vote. For one thing, I haven’t been following local politics lately. It bores me to death. For another, I don’t know what is going on with the Democratic party. The Republicans are what everyone expects Republicans to be, have moved in the direction of conservative. But the Democrats have moved in the general direction of blah. It makes me want to fast forward to the point in time when they have their act together. Thinking through all of this, I decided that I simply didn’t care enough to vote, nor was I well-informed enough to do so.

Plus, by time time I got home, I had only 20 minutes before the Yankees game started.

Having decided not to vote, I dropped my stuff off in the house, and jogged up to the polling place. On the way there, I told myself I’d only vote in those categories that I knew something about the candidates. The school was littered with campaign signs, they grew like weeds. I have pictures but haven’t had a chance to upload them yet. Once inside, I went through the line and eventually wound up at a voting machine.

See my voting record