February 06, 2008

I voted! I had never voted before today. I didn't vote the last time around, because I would've had to vote absentee in Arizona and there kept being all kinds of deadlines I was supposed to meet that I kept blowing and I found it hard to get motivated to buy stamps, and I was probably busy with comedy stuff. And Arizona was going to go red anyway, I think I remember telling myself to justify my laziness.

But I'm an actual honest-to-God New York state resident this time, and part owner of a small business, and a broke-as-fuck ponce with no health care, so I had all kinds of good reasons to vote this time. In the primary, even! I mailed shit in on time! I went to Kinko's to print forms out! I found my polling place and left the house and went there! I am as proud if not more proud of my having-it-togetherness as regards voting in the primary as Obama probably is of his amazing victories so far.

I knew academically that the American democratic process was a ramshackle operation but it took actually going and voting for me to really get it. We got a real slapdash way of electing dudes to the highest office in the land. It's kind of like somebody went "Oh, right, we're supposed to have a presidential election tomorrow," drank a bunch of coffee, pulled an all-nighter coming up with how it's supposed to go, it went okay enough that there wasn't a bloody coup, and we all said "good enough" and we've kept doing it this way for two hundred and some years, without revising the jittery midnight compromises of that first brainstorming session that a decent second draft would've ironed out.

I like how old and cavernous New York public schools are. The school that was my polling place was echo-y and smelled like galoshes. My name was on the list, and I patted myself on the back for all my hard printing-stuff-out-and-mailing-things-in-on-time work. A West Indian-accented lady found my information and directed me to a Russian-accented guy who told me how to work the voting machine.

And here's the slapdash ramshackle thing: the jukebox at the bar I go to all the time is infinitely more technically complex than the machine which records my presidential primary vote. Fuck, a jukebox from the time this voting machine was invented was probably more complex. There was a ponderous clanging railroad lever and little twirly things and the printed instructions were poor and I am pretty sure I unintentionally pledged most of my delegates to Adlai Stevenson.

(Side note: in the above picture, the signs second from right and second from left ought to read "We need Adlai Bad-lai!" He wouldn't have lost if I had been alive and the campaign would've hired me to dispense Adlai puns.)

I don't want to sound naive or lazy or, like, young, but: could voting be on the Internet? If you put some Google dudes on this, surely the resulting system would be less vulnerable to fraud and human error than the steam-powered behemoth I operated (poorly) this afternoon? I feel like voting for President should be at least as easy and secure as buying tickets to "First Sunday" or entering your credit card info so you can drunk-download the Mickey Mouse Club theme off of iTunes.

Speaking of which: "First Sunday" does not deliver very well on its premise, does not let Tracy Morgan be nearly insane enough, and does not feature half as much Katt Williams as the poster would lead you to believe it does.

The Mickey Mouse Club theme holds up.

Posted by DC at February 6, 2008 12:52 AM
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