A brief pop-in to let everyone know that I’m still alive and, apparently, still incapable of sitting down and writing without a daily obligation.
Well, that and to talk about elections. I expect y’all have figured out how I’d vote in the U.S. presidential elections (with much of the rest of the world), but I would like to request some clarity in the methods of voting down there.
(I’m not trying to sound all snobby about this, I swear; it’s just Foreign Person Curiosity. Goodness knows that our system is a fucking disaster in many ways. Our prime minister got his job, and his party got a majority of the House of Commons, with only 39% of the vote, for example.)
- Why are the queues so long? Surely, there should be enough polling stations for every citizen to vote on election day, so why, assuming the turnout is as low as it’s been in the last few elections (no more than 58% in the last 40 years), is it so hard to vote? I have never had more than a fifteen minute wait, even when I haven’t voted in the early polls. (Our turnouts are shit too, BTW.)
- Why is it so hard to vote? I’m not talking about the Hurricane Sandy situation, and, really, I have no right to call this a uniquely American problem as I’ve heard some (very, very few, mind) wacko stories from Canada too, but that citizens have to worry about being disenfranchised because of new ID rules or just plain ridiculous bureaucracy is mindboggling. (Also see the slideshow here.)
- Why the machines some places? And why do they vary from state to state? I know the hanging chad ridiculousness has ended, but still, a pen and a paper ballot (with Braille, of course) is the ultimate in democracy as far as I’m concerned. It’s not that I don’t trust machines, but I don’t trust people to use them correctly.
- It’s weird to vote for things like coroner and sheriff. Okay, that’s not a question. It does seem awfully strange to an outsider, though.
I have to be at work at 7 tomorrow morning, so I won’t be able to drink myself into a coma while watching election coverage, which will limit my enjoyment a touch. But hey, we’ve all got problems.
To my American friends, good luck today. I hope you voted, and did so thoughtfully, regardless of whom and what you’ve chosen.
To the lovely Erica, the best of everything today with the Scary Medical Thing. Wishing you the speediest of recoveries.