Cove Humor: A Voting Story

The following story is one that I wrote back in 2011 and put on my blog that only 5 people ever followed. So for most of you, it will be new material. Today seemed like an appropriate day to re-release it to the world. Go vote!

Today was Election Day here in bonny ol’ PA. As per usual (I like to say “per usual” – it lends an air of fake sophistication) I did my civic duty. And once I was done with that and flushed the toilet, I went out to vote because we take voting very seriously in my family. 

The worst part about voting is the mad dash from your car to the polling place door. We call it “Running the Gauntlet.” Would-be Candidates normally swarm upon you with pleas to vote for them and handouts with their names on it, while you try to smile and politely escape as quickly as manners will allow. Sometimes the handouts are even useful things like pens, pencils, and emery boards, which makes me feel like a trick-or-treater. I’ve even considered wearing a   t-shirt when I vote that says “Can Be Bought With Snickers.” But if you can break past them into the goalie box (they can’t go within so many feet of the door and where I vote at, there is actually a rectangle drawn on the ground that reminds me of a goalie box) you are home free. I don’t know what the repercussions are for Would-be Candidates who chase you into the goalie box. I’ve heard if they cross the chalk line they immediately disintegrate and their name automatically disappears from all the ballots inside the building.

Today the Gauntlet was not bad at all; there was only one Would-be and he turned out to be someone I knew so we chatted briefly. 

Inside my polling place you may either choose to use the computer (boo!! hiss!!) or a paper ballot (yay!! paper!!) We’re a little backwoods that way. They’ve been trying to encourage us to use the computerized voting machine for years now but since that little fiasco down in Florida during the Bush/Gore Cage Fight no one around here wants anything to do with the computer. Oh sure, a small handful will use it, but a large majority – me included, prefer the paper ballots. 

There is a sense of satisfaction when I color in that little rectangle beside the name. I try to figure out who I want before I go in, however, this tactic always seems to backfire. I get my ballot, step inside the shower curtain (which reminds me of theWizard of Oz and I always think someone should be yelling “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!” but no one ever does) and there before me on the paper are people I need to vote for who I never heard of. I need to vote for ONE and my choices are two people from the opposite side of the state. I don’t like that side of the state. Nothing good comes from that side of the state. In fact, I think that side of the state should just join up with New Jersey and leave this half of the state alone, but I digress.

So I’m left to flounder. Apparently this election did not turn out to be much of a turd flinger or I would have heard of these people. Or perhaps my lack of local news on tv and my lapsed subscription to the newspaper has something to do with it. At any rate I guess my way through the ones I don’t know and color in the dots to the people who I want. There were a bunch of write-ins this time with no one running. I didn’t know what to do with them.

After the dot coloring, it’s time to submit your ballot. We have a fancy machine that’s been there for quite a few years now. You feed your ballot into it. It looks and sounds suspiciously like a paper shredder. I raise an eyebrow every time I use it. Today I even asked if it were indeed a paper shredder. Everyone working the election table looked away guiltily and denied it. 

Meanwhile the computerized voting machine was over there shooting votes into cyber space. All three of them. 

When I got home the phone rang. It was Dad. He called to tell me that if I got elected to anything it was his fault. He didn’t know what to do with all those blank write-ins either so he voted for me for: Auditor, Commissioner, District Attorney and School Board Director. He wrote in his own name for Judge. Like I said, we take voting very seriously in our family. 

Nothing to do now but wait for the votes to be counted. Then perhaps Dad and I can begin our reign of terror. Buwahahahaha!!! 

circus 2015 003Kelly Baker; Cove Humor writer