Friday, November 9, 2012

How I Broke the Elections

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 was a very important day for me. It was the first time that I voted. I felt very cool to be able to do that. More importantly, I felt a surge of pride that I am literate enough in politics to feel like I had a fairly good grasp of what is going on in the world today. I care about what's happening. I read the news. I listen to debates (until it makes me so frustrated that I have to go hide in the other room and have Andy tell me what's happening). I feel like a responsible citizen.

But when I went to vote on Tuesday, things didn't actually go very smoothly.

Andrew and I showed up at the polling/voting type place. Our precinct was assigned to an old folk's home, and there were some adorable old folks sitting on the veranda. It made me happy. We stood in line for all of about five seconds. Now THAT is my kind of line! The nice people checked our paper stuff, and then asked:

"Would you like to vote on a paper ballot or electronically?"

Knowing my history with technology, I emphatically chose the paper ballot. I went over to a little cubed off section and seized the pen lying there on the desk. I boldly colored in the little ovals, marking my opinions for the future of my county, state, and country. I studiously considered the type of pen I was using, because I actually really liked it, and considered getting one for myself. I decidedly shoved my stuff in my purse, and resolutely stood. 

I then looked around like a lost fish in a really big puddle because I didn't know what to do with my ballot. Andy had already finished and was waiting outside. No help there. Then I saw a lady sitting by the door and a huge machine. I watched as a gentleman walked up to the machine and fed his ballot into the scanner machine, and then was presented with a sticker for his good behavior.

Feeling more comfortable because I now knew what I was supposed to do, I went up to the Lady of the Machine and prepared to get my sticker. Oh, how I wanted that sticker! I love stickers! I stuck the end of my ballot into the machine. The ballot got pulled in....

And then it got spit back out again. That lousy Machine didn't want me to get a sticker! What a lame head of cauliflower! The Lady of the Machine had me try five more times before declaring my ballot to be a broken one. She told me to go over to the other corner of the room and get it voided, and then to fill out another one. I walked dejectedly over to the Voider Man. I'd never broken PAPER before. I'm paper-writing girl. I read books. Paper is what I do.

My head was drooped low until I heard the Lady of the Machine call out and say, "Don't void your ballot. It might be the Machine."

That made me perk up. I didn't break the paper, I broke the Machine! I felt much better. That's much more normal for me. But then I started to feel a little guilty as the line in front of the Machine grew longer, and NO ONE could enter their ballot. What had I done? I had stopped the election process! 

After several minutes of not being able to contact anyone or to fix the Machine, Voider Man just had us stick our ballots in a little slot to be looked at later. That helped ease my guilty feelings a little, since we were still able to cast our votes, even if it were to now cause many people extra work going over the ballots later. Oh well. Voting is a good thing to do, so I guess I can sacrifice other people's time to do it. I stuck my ballot into the slot, but the Lady of the Machine was distracted by something, and didn't offer me a sticker. 

I hmphed! and took a sticker anyway. Just because I broke the elections doesn't mean that I didn't vote. I earned that sticker.


  1. Yay! This is the most entertaining story I've heard all week! Yay for voting!

  2. Love it!! Moydie and I voted even the easier way . . .absentee ballots all the way!! :) It was our first time voting, too!!

  3. Hahaha yes you WOULD break the election...