Election’s over, start the campaign

by Brian Hollander
November 04, 2010 01:56 PM | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I sure do miss those old voting booths. Oh, finally, I guess there’s nothing inherently wrong with the new machines. You sit at a table and fill in the blanks on the ballot that’s been carefully torn from a book and it’s like the SATs where you blacken the circle by your choice. Then you cover it with the somewhat ridiculous privacy sleeve, just a folder, really, and feed it into the machine, as you do with those devices that slurp up your dollar (no folds on the corners, please) and send you back the change, where it is scanned optically. The screen then flashes that your vote has been received. It’s nothing like the soothing mechanical clunk of the lever sliding over and opening the curtain.

But aside from the mechanicals, what I miss most is the moment alone in the booth, the curtains surrounding you, the solitude to take just a second to reflect on what it is you are doing; the air gets a little thicker, richer with the oxygen of freedom of choice (OK, I’m gilding it here a little)…but it’s just you alone, you and your maker, understanding the selection. So it goes the way of the rotary dial telephone, tail fins and rabbit ears, the era from whence the old lever voting machines came. Somehow it’s become less personal.

One of the ceaselessly yammering heads on television on election night recalled a saying that I liked…must have been on PBS (watch your funding, folks)…he said, and please forgive the expression for not being gender neutral, “the boys run for office to be something. The men run for office to do something.” When you think of it like that, it’s pretty easy to tell who’s who. Although he might have added a line about those who run for office to steal something…

It became apparent today that Ulster County lost a business…Partsearch, over at Tech City, 142 jobs canceled in a call center after the company lost a contract to provide services for retail electronics giant Best Buy following a billing dispute. Might as well blame the Republicans, it happened on their watch, they’ve had the House of Representatives for a whole day. That’s the way it works, right?

Thanks for the fun elections. They ran the gamut of emotions, exposed the human condition in this country, let everyone get a say (though some corporate money said it all a little louder.) The people using their own money like Fiorina, McMahon, Whitman and Rooney didn’t win, but the people using the corporate dough sure did.

Next up, school budget and board elections in May…maybe we can sneak in a primary or something in March, gotta be an open seat somewhere. Town election jockeying can begin after the new year, and then on to 2012…++

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