September 18, 2010

Lever-less at the polls

So, New York decided to comply with some half-assed Federal mandate that allegedly helps people vote.

Wrong.

Until our most recent primary, every time I went to the polls, I went behind the curtain, pushed down a lever for each candidate I chose, and before exiting, I pulled back the large red lever that controlled the whole setup, and I heard a satisfying clunk when I was done.

Now, it's back to the future: we have paper ballots that are supposed to be marked by a filled-in circle, like the SATs, circa 1970s. Then, we are supposed to feed the ballot into a scanner, and the scanner monitor allegedly says "thank you for voting," or something to that effect when your ballot registers.

Mine did not register. No entity, human or computer, thanked me for voting. The polling people claim the scanner recognized my ballot when the next ballot went through. Sure, and I have a bridge to sell you.

The paper ballot in itself is off-putting. For one thing, if you have reached the age of my-arm-is-too-short-to-read this, you won't be happy with the print size. For another, voting in the gym has never struck me as a very adult location for the so-called democratic process, but now, it feels even more juvenile.

Feels less and less like my vote matters as I stand there, waiting on line in the gym. It feels more like college class registration, back in the day when we needed to collect punch cards to fill out our schedules.

Makes me think less of cap-D Democracy and more of small-s student council. And electioneering was bad enough in high school. Who knew that would be the highlight of the process?

1 Comments:

Blogger Gray Matter said...

I completely agree. Totally student council, so undignified for one of our greatest privileges. Oh, and I got sharpie on my hand. Grrr.

12:45 PM  

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