Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I'm Feeling Very Enfranchised

I was feeling a little whimmy this morning, so I detoured from my morning commute to cast my vote in Maryland's primary. JUST KIDDING! About the whimminess, I mean. I really voted.

Well, I voted after I got through the line that snaked all the way around the lobby of the senior citizen's center that serves as my neighborhood's polling place. I was grateful for the spindle of paperbacks they had on hand. I read about twenty pages of Catherine Coulter's Impulse while I waited. Can't say it was thematically related to the democratic process, unlike the book I entertained myself with during the 2004 presidential election. And I tried not to be too put off by the fact that the back cover was a little greasy. I've heard of greasy paper bags, but a greasy paperback was a first for me.

Anyway, I got to use one of those cool electronic hoochajiggies. Loved it. I trust a digital X* more than I trust a bubbled circle. Maybe that's vestigial test-taking paranoia? Those optically scanned ballots are too reminiscent of standardized test answer sheets for my taste. And don't get me started on punch cards and chads. Yikes. I blame the chads for the past eight years.

So yeah, I was in and out, easy-peasy. The commute was not so easy-peasy, as there was a blustery brief snowstorm on part of the Baltimore beltway. Flurries + Maryland = Panic + Traffic Jams.

I ended up taking a different route into work, and drove past my old high school, which is serving as a polling place today. And I realized just how very, very Republican Baltimore County seems to be. Why? Whereas my polling place was festooned with Obama and Clinton placards, my old high school's lawn was spiked with McCain and Ron Paul signs. Weird. I don't know how I got to be such a flaming liberal coming from conservative soil like that.
*Yes, yes, I've read all the articles about infants who successfully hacked into the system in 5 seconds. Still, I hate the bubbles and the punchcards.

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