Filed Under Life
Five Best Ways to Vote
Posted November 6, 2006
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Every November, I participate in the great democratic fixture that is my Constitutional right: gambling on high school sports. I feel bad for people in the rest of the world who have to vote on Sunday. You have to hand it to America's political leaders – by making Election Day fall on a work day, they prevent too many people from voting, and get to look good doing it by keeping my weekend unmarred by the hassle of voting.
If you're lucky enough to celebrate freedom by voting, you might use one of the following methods to elect the next group of snake charmers.
The ultimate way for the video game generation to cast a ballot. The machines aren't universally loved – the older generation claims the machines are too complicated, while younger voters complain it isn't violent enough. Unlike your favorite Quake mod, the graphics are low tech, and no matter who you vote for you're still likely to be a loser. Like video games, voting machines can be hacked, but instead of displaying computer-generated sex, they change the leader of the free world.
But I don't buy that argument – if our country can launch satellites to Jupiter AND lose track of them, then computerized elections are obviously fair and free.
In some parts of the world like Afghanistan and Iraq, people don't have enough money for computer voter machines or even negative campaigning. Their solution is to vote by fingerpaint. In each village, they tape an enormous piece of butcher paper to the town square, and each citizen who's allowed to vote dips their finger in purple paint, then marks their ballot choice on the butcher paper. Some complain that their privacy in this method is compromised, but that is untrue for the large percentage of the population wearing burqas.
Mechanical Lever Machine
The machine looks like a tank with a curtain, overengineered in a way like NASA were asked to design an infant car seat. All manners of levers and dials, encased in solid green steel. There are easily more controls here than in the cockpit of a modern jetliner. When you close the curtain, it feels like you're watching a peep show for democracy, but the coolest thing is, once you've clicked all the levers and you're satisfied with what it might be like to be in the middle of a 1970's IBM mainframe, you pull the lever that simultaneously opens the curtain and records your vote. The exquisite mechanical nature assures your privacy, and that there will be a union of voting-machine repairmen for years to come.
This is the voting option exercised by those who demanded an eject button on their DVD remote control. By staying home, you're delivering the ultimate 'fuck you' to the system, a Bronx cheer to the statue of Liberty, and you know what? By not voting, you're actually voting for the person you least want to win.
But I understand the drive to stay home. If you don't need good schools, police, fire departments, roads, affordable health care, then you have every right to spend the day calibrating your fantasy football score.
Vote by Mail
Oregon has vote-by-mail, as well as mandatory full serve at the gas station, and a carpool lane on the freeway devoted to people on pogo sticks.
The only problem: it costs you, the voter, 39 cents. Personally, I never have stamps, which frequently prevents me from paying rent and utilities. Why would I shell out over 30 percent of a dollar just to vote? It would be super cool if vote-by-mail were outsourced to Amazon.com, so that they could charge sixteen dollars per ballot (currently out of stock), but we guarantee that your vote may be collected by next Christmas.
copyright 2004-2017 G. Xavier Robillard