Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting Out To Vote

Voting in the primaries this morning was a piece of cake! I was in and out in 5 minutes. Way better than the last time when I got up at 6 a.m. to be at the polling site when it opened - - and it took over an hour for me to vote. I guess I shouldn't complain about that hour, there are places in this world where people have to wait all day to make it to the ballot box and while they wait, they are targets for terrorists bent on obstructing democratic ideals and processes.

The one thing I didn't like, I had to state what political party I was voting for. I guess in a presidential PRIMARY it really doesn't matter if they know. However, I felt like my anonymous vote wasn't quite so anonymous since everyone standing within ear shot knew which political affiliation I had taken.

Our voting machines are touch screen computers, so I handed this colored piece of paper (red for Republican and blue for Democrat) to the volunteer and she selected the political party from the choices on the touch screen and then left me to make my choice between the remaining candidates. I could have made my party choice at the "box".

Once the party affiliation was selected, a list of available candidates came up. After you made your selection, the next window read:

"You have selected _________ as your choice for the ______ candidate for president." You then had to select a "continue" button to move to the next screen which said:

"You have selected __________." and there was another continue button.

Upon pressing the second "continue" button, a large red "Vote" button appeared on the next screen. The "Vote" button took up the entire monitor screen. Yep, I couldn't miss that.

After pressing the HUGE "Vote" button, you received a message that said: " Your ballot has been cast."

The whole voting machine process made me laugh. I mean, it was like I was trying to delete something from my computer. You know how our computers ask us three times if we are sure we want to delete whatever it is we are deleting.

Can you just imagine the voting stress the following voting machine messages could cause:

"You have selected _______________ to be the _________ presidential candidate. Are you sure?"

Hmm, I'm pretty sure so I'll select "Yes"

"O.k. You confirmed your selection of ________________ for the ________________ presidential candidate. Are you absolutely sure this is correct? You still have time to change your mind."

Hmm, well I read their platforms and I'm fairly certain I'm good with my choice.
Next screen with big flashing red "Vote" button:

"Before selecting ______________, you realize that your vote could determine the fate and future of the free world, your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren. Are you absolutely sure this is who you want to chose."

Well, geez if you put it that way - - now I'm not so sure. I mean, does this computer know something I don't know. If I press that red flashing "Vote", will I set off some nuclear chain reaction? AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH I don't know what to do.

Yes, lots of sweaty palms and anxiety attacks.

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