Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thank God it only happens once every two years.

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Hmm. These posts seem to do a lot better when I include less words and more photos of Little Brother.

So after a long day of work "training" Tempalopoditis it was time for me to enjoy my right to vote. First I headed into the back room. "Hey Germans, guess where I'm going right now."

"Where?"

"I'm going to vote. And you can't vote!"

"Oh! Vote for lots of Democrats!"

"Actually, I think I'll vote for the anti-immigration party. This country is letting too many immigrants into this country. Especially Northern European immigrants."

"Bah."

"Especially Northern Central Europeans. They're ruining everything."

"Get out of here."

"You'll miss me when I'm gone."

"We'll see."

So, I took the subway to Park Slope. When I moved out of Park Slope, I never changed my Voter Registration so I still have to go back there to vote. It's kind of annoying, but since it doesn't affect me too often, I figure I can deal with it. Of course I wanted to change my voter registration, but Mommycakes told me once that as soon as I did this, I would get jury duty. For some reason, I believed this. So last month I got my notification from the Board of Elections. It was mailed to me at my new current address and it told me to go to Park Slope to vote. It didn't make a lot of sense, but it was printed on bright orange paper, so it had some authority. So last night I got on the F Train and had that old F Train nostalgia: less crowded than the Q Train, but twice as slow.

I walked into the high school where I used to vote and a "helper" asked for my address. I gave my new address in Prospect Heights. He looked it up in the book. And looked and looked. "Oh you don't vote here, take this slip and go here," he said, directing me to an address five blocks from my house. It was 7:30pm and raining outside. I just wanted to vote.

"Mmm, are you sure I can't vote here?"

"Well, you won't be voting in the right minor races. You'll mess up the numbers." I gave the guy a death look. All the candidates I care about for State Assemblyman and such had been defeated back in the primaries and there was no way in hell either of these Brooklyn districts were going Republican. "Okay," said the poll worker. "What was your former address?"

Hmm. It's been less than a year and a half since I used to live in Park Slope. "852 8th Street," I said with confidence. The guy looked in his magic book. "There is no 852 8th Street." Really? Isn't that were I used to live? Guys? 852? And if not, did I ever live at 852 anything?

"I think you'd better go to PS 9," he said handing me a Voter Referral slip. I walked out in the rain and stopped to at Sweet Melissa's to pick up a chocolate cupcake and some Florentines to cheer myself up. I called Garrett on my cell phone. He was on his way out the door to the CNN Blogger Election Night Party. "Well you know, I'm busy on Election Night too, trying to vote and all!" I said. I then explained to Garrett, who already knew quite well, that I lived in an area with one of the nation's least contested races. You could have called them all last week. My vote did not, you know, matter so much. I was voting more as a self-righteous self-hating American Smith College Government Major and I wanted someone to pat me on the head, goddamn it.

I got to the intersection where I live. "Oh shit, I have to go, G, I just witnessed a car accident." Actually, I didn't witness the accident, I had been looking down and only looked up when I head the tires screech just in time to see the crash. Two cars smashed into each other at a pretty good speed, they didn't stop right away. The one closest to me lost it's whole back bumper and had side impact damage but seemed in a hurry to get going before the cops showed up. There were lots of people around, so I didn't stay to call 911. Besides, it was 7:52pm, the polls closed at 9:00pm and I still had to fucking vote.

I marched on, like a penguin with a biological imperative to march into the sea, or wherever it is the penguins are marching, I never saw that damn movie. I made it to PS 9 and when I walked in, there was a big bake sale going on, so I felt like a jerk with my $6.00 bag of tiny tasty tartlets from bourgeois Park Slope. Is voting in ProHo different from voting in Park Slope? Yes. Yes it is. I was directed to the appropriate card table and told I wasn't in this magic book either, so Wanda needed to be called. There was talk of sending me back to Park Slope. I said my own two magic words, "Girl, please." Wanda said I would vote by special affidavit vote. So instead of going into the voting booth, I said at a child-sized desk with a cardboard protector up for privacy and voted ScanTron style. Wanda told me when I was done, to put my ballot in the envelope, seal it and to fill out sections A and B. Only sections A and B.

My kiddie desk was next to the card table. This is what was going on as I was voting.

Woman with gold tooth: Wanda! Wanda, will you look at this hump on my back? It's a hump, right? Can you itch it?

Wanda: I think you just want me to be all touching you. You like that. [Two women approach card table.] Hey! You came back!

Voter: Can I bring her in with me? gestures to silent companion

Wanda: Is she kin?

Voter: pause She's my sister.

Wanda: Sure. She can go in with you. Blood is thick. She can tell you who to vote for. But I can't tell you who to vote for.

I finished my ballot at Time Out desk, sealed up the envelope, filled out parts A and B and handed it to Wanda. "Are you sure I don't need to fill out Part C?" I asked.

"No, just A and B. We fill out the rest."

"Are you sure? Because it says 'All Voters must fill out and sign Part C'".

"Let me see that .... Oh. You right. You right." I filled out Part C and handed over my ballot. I had about 30% confidence that my ballot was going anywhere and would be counted. Then I asked how I could update my address with the Voter Registration Board. I want to vote with Wanda all the time.

5 comments:

LaHip Moves Far, Far Away said...

http://www.noho.com/images/downtown2.jpg

Dizzie Diva said...

Tempalopoditis *grin*

NancyPearlWannabe said...

Wow. You got to vote in a rap video? I got to hear a little snort of derision as she checked off my name with the little "D" for Democrat next to it.

Paula said...

Would you hate me if I told you that in Oregon we have vote by mail? We can vote in the privacy of our own home, with as many people as you want, and stick it back in the mail when you're all done. It is the best! I sort of miss the days when we went to the polling place. I always wanted to be one of the polling ladies. They bring you lunch.

Rick said...

I knew that picture would serve a higher purpose one day...