Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Piece Of Cake

In a few minutes, I am going to eat a piece of cake for dessert, as a tribute to the ease of voting with the new touch screen machine this afternoon. The screen is even easier that my beloved gray booth because everything is right in front of you, in big letters, whereas you always had to look the entire booth up and down to make sure that you hadn't missed anything. The board of elections screwed with voters by placing referendum questions in odd corners of the switchboard where many people would not think to look for anything. Much to my shame, I missed a couple of questions on one occasion and as a result I became extra vigilant about looking for surprise ballot questions in all subsequent elections.

There were no questions this time, just the slate of unopposed candidates and three Republican committee races, only one of which presented me with more than two candidates from which to choose (these were "vote for not more than two" races). So I voted for the two people whose names I actually recognized. I could have been in and out in one-fifth the time I took, but I was having too much fun pressing buttons, and selecting a write-in for the State Senate race where no candidate filed.

Others were not so lucky:

...nine machines had their screens cracked during transit to the polling places...

...a polling place in a senior citizens high rise at Brighton and North Avenues on the North Side early in the day, and voters were given paper ballots...

...at St. Justin's Church on Mount Washington, where workers at 8 a.m. said they were waiting for help from county elections bureau staffers...

...none of the machines started at St. Bede Church in Point Breeze...
Then there was one man who
...waited 80 minutes and ended up using a paper ballot at Burchfield School in Shaler after the machines failed to start.
But that couldn't have been embarrassing as this one:
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum was among those locked out of his polling place at Forbes School in Penn Hills when an elections worker failed to show up. [County Executive Dan] Onorato said the worker, at the last minute, couldn't get a ride.
If Rick loses, every editorialist in the Commonwealth, if not the country, will call this "the defining moment of the Santorum campaign". Truth be told, I didn't vote for him this time. I didn't settle for the family cat either. I wrote in a relative who has some interest in politics. That way I don't feel like I've wasted a vote on someone whose interest in public service is limited to their interest in having a full bowl and a clean litter box.

I flirted with the possibility of writing in my own name, but if by some fluke I were to win, I wouldn't know what the hell what to do. Front porch campaign, most likely. Of the "get offa my lawn" variety.

Time for me to go eat my cake now. And I'm not even from Mount Lebanon! Ha!

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