Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did it to Julia

I'm usually one of the first 3 or 4 voters at my polling place. This morning, I arrived 15 minutes before it opened, and was still voter #12. By the time I got out of there, the line going in was getting fairly long. Looks like it may be a record turnout day.

Then again, it could be due to the delays. Missouri outlawed "straight ticket" voting last year. All over the state, half-blind oldsters who are used to just looking for the picture of the donkey or the elephant, punching their ticket and getting the hell out of there are now having to laboriously um, read their ballots. I don't really see it making a difference in terms of an informed electorate, etc. It's just another annoyance.

Also, we've got the touch screen machines now -- that's slowing down voters and election workers both. Something about them feels ... sinister. In theory, you can request a paper punch card ballot instead, but those didn't arrive at my polling place until about the time I finished casting my votes on the touch screens.

Frank Gilmour for Senate, Charles Baum for State Auditor, Robb Cunningham for US House, Ted Brown for County Executive. Since those guys are all Libertarians and friends of mine, those votes were easy.

The votes for State Senator, State Representative and County Council were easy, too: The only candidate for each seat was the Democratic Party's nominee. And to be honest, we could do worse than Rita Days, Esther Haywood and Hazel Erby. Any Republican district in the state does so on a routine basis.

I wouldn't have felt bad voting for Lacy Clay for Congress, either, if he hadn't had a Libertarian opponent. He voted against the war on Iraq, against the Enabling Military Commissions Act, and against making the Anti-American Gestapo USA PATRIOT Act permanent. He opposes amending the US Constitution to make discrimination against homosexuals the Supreme Law of the Land -- and his response to my constituent inquiry on that issue was not pro forma. He's not good on every issue, but he's good on most of the ones I care about lately.

After that, it was "no" right down the line on the question of retaining various judges in office, and that was it. I made one mistake (almost let one of those judges creep back in with my support!), the touch screen let me correct it and then chattered a bunch of stuff on the "paper trail" tape, and I was done.

If you haven't voted yet, read Jim Henley's Election Day article before you go. Remember: A vote for a Republican, at least 99% of the time, is a vote against America.

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