Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Oh, ohhhh.... say can you see, by the dawns early light...

The people have spoken, and it pretty clear that over half the people want an administration that believes in many of the same standards as the Taliban – as in, the ends justify the means, that a woman does not control her own body, that homosexuality is an abomination, and that power should only be kept in the hands of the few who can incite God whenever it is convenient for them.

But enough hyperbolic bullshit. I want to write about this great democratic process that gave us another four years of hell.

Yesterday, on election day, I hid myself from all the pundits and early election results at the only place you could do so: the polls. (heck, even people stuck in a cave, like Osama, couldn’t avoid news coverage) In addition to the “I Voted” sticker that 60% of Americans were given, I also was able to wear one that read “Election Official” as I worked from 6am to 10pm helping run a local voting place here in Hollywood.

In spite of the nationwide results, the day remains an affirmation of the beauty of our democratic process. Hundreds of people waited patiently, if not anxiously in line to cast their vote. Not surprisingly, many were first time voters, and not all of the first time voters were in their late teens or early twenties – many were new citizens from Europe and Asia, and some, in their fifties, had simply never bothered voting before.

My job was greeting people as they arrived and checking for their names on the rolls to ensure they were eligible to vote. If they weren’t for one reason or another, I steered them to out poll inspector to fill out a provisional ballot. Most of these people had only recently registered to vote, or they were voting outside of their neighborhood. And not surprisingly, a lot of people came in saying that either their absentee ballot was never sent, or that they registered at the DMV but never received confirmation.

The great thing about provisional balloting is that ANYONE can vote, although it has to be verified that they were actually eligible first (or that they didn’t vote twice). So, I only turned away one guy because he said he wasn’t registered to vote in the state of California.

The most interesting part of the day came when one eligible voter told me that if the election didn’t go his way, he was going to “kill the bastard”. I thought he was making a bad joke, and told him I didn’t want to hear about. Then he said, “really, I’m gonna kill him if he gets reelected.” I repeated, a little more loudly, that I really didn’t want to hear him talk about that. He chuckled, in a somewhat creepy manner, and said he’d already tried once before, and then walked off with his ballot to vote. If I’d heard him mention it again, I knew I’d have to contact the men in black.

Its funny – as much as I disdain George W. Bush, I’m still a patriot and would, as dramatic as it sounds, take a bullet for the man. As dysfunctional as our country is, it remains the greatest country in the world, and anyone who’d attempt to cause it harm is my enemy. And the liberals who now threaten to move to Canada were never truly American, just fair weathered fans not willing to back the team even when the management sucked ass.

And, uh, yeah. All that stuff. I’m now going to go blow up some more Ewoks.

May the force be with us.