Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

A What The Hell political journal ~ Nov. 5, 2016


Do you have a voting plan for Tuesday?

I just read about this the other day. You need a voting plan because sometimes things go wrong even for those with the best intentions. And sometimes things go wrong on purpose, like the way Maricopa County Arizona cut the number of polling places last spring for the primary “to save money.” It caused tons of people to bail out of the long lines, you can be sure. The desired effect.

You can outsmart ‘em by planning ahead. Don’t assume you can stroll in on your lunch break and dash through the ballot (ours here in California had seventeen propositions to be voted on!). You can’t safely assume either that you can get in after work. Say you work till six and your state’s polls close at eight. You could find yourself at the tail end of a two-hour line. It’d be a shame if they cut off entries ten people in front of you. A shame, says the Republican Secretary of State, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

Ideally we should all vote early. If you get a chance, do it. I’ve voted by mail already, and while it’s too late now to request a mail-in ballot, if you have yours in hand go ahead and fill it in. Get it in the mail. Don’t let a merry mix-up cause it to be late.

On election day, if you can, take some time off to vote. Make sure you know alternative routes to your polling place. It’d be a shame if malfunctioning stoplights caused a massive traffic jam that makes you late. A shame, says the Republican head of Traffic Control in your city.

Help family, friends, and neighbors get to the polls too. Old folks. Millennials who are this close to saying, “What difference does it make? I’m behind on Instagram.” No. Seize them by the arm and take them to vote with you.

And as part of your voting plan, don’t let the gun-toting (in some states) poll watchers who wear Trump t-shirts saying “She’s a C&NT” or “Lock Her Up!” intimidate you. Ignore them. As Burt Bacharach would say, “Walk on by.” These people are like the creeps outside abortion clinics who want to show you grotesque pictures right before your important decision. This time they’re the grotesque picture, and they remind you you’re doing the patriotic thing in rejecting their candidate.

Finally, tell everyone you’ve voted. Tweet it, Facebook it, Pinterest it, Instagram it, Snapchat it, blog it. This will help create a social encouragement and is a damn sight better than the shaming some engage in (such as by threatening to tell all your neighbors that you don’t vote). Make it seem like a positive thing. Because it is.

And this time it’s a crucial thing.


11 comments on “A What The Hell political journal ~ Nov. 5, 2016

  1. kingmidget
    November 5, 2016

    I’ll do what I’ve done in every election since I turned 18. On my way to work, I’ll stop at the polling place (a conservative church of all places) and take my ballot and walk to one of the booths and make my final decisions. I appreciate the ease of mail-in voting, but I hope I never do it. There’s something communal about casting our votes on one day and I want to be a part of that.

    As Tuesday winds down and turns to Wednesday, I may find myself alternating between assuming the fetal position and searching the internet for cheap places to live in other countries. I’ve heard there may be some possibilities in Mosul.

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 5, 2016

      God, you’re such a purist, Mark! I used to be that way, till I moved up here to a red county and feel like the polling place is Night of the Living Dead. You never saw so much camo clothing … and that’s on the women!

  2. 1WriteWay
    November 5, 2016

    We have two weeks of early voting in my county, with several voting places available. Easy-peasy. We voted last Saturday at the community center next to the YMCA where we went to work out afterward. We’ve done mail-in ballots before, but this time we wanted to do it in person. And, gee, for us, maybe because our county tilts to the left, it’s always a pleasant experience 🙂

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 6, 2016

      It’s nice to live among your philosophical peers. The one thing I miss about the Bay Area!

      • 1WriteWay
        November 6, 2016

        Yes, well, our little enclave is just that … little. There are few counties in Florida that lean Democratic and most of those are south of us. And we keep talking about moving because there’s few states as overall crazy as Florida is. One thing that is really possible in Florida and that has my colon in knots is the possibility of a recount. I don’t know if we could live through another debacle like 2000 all over again 😦

      • Kevin Brennan
        November 6, 2016

        Ugh, don’t remind me! At least Scalia is out of the picture now, though … 😼

      • 1WriteWay
        November 6, 2016

        And not missed by most of us 😉

  3. Audrey Driscoll
    November 5, 2016

    Wow, this is an eye opener for this complacent Canadian. Too many of us think of voting as a ho-hum thing, instead of the important responsibility it is. Great post!

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 6, 2016

      And it seems to get more intense with every election! [shudder]

  4. Woebegone but Hopeful
    November 7, 2016

    Well that’s not ‘cricket’!!
    In the mainland UK we have voting locations all over the place, usually in whimsical little buildings; usually occupied at any given time by more officials than voters, but they are open from 7am to 10pm. Although in 2010 officialdom was surprised by unexpected 75% of voters turning up, which caused a fuss in cities, but the local officials on the ground seemed to organise neat solutions like setting up tents outside as extra rooms and not worrying about an exact 10pm shut-down.
    All the best with ‘tomorrow’ (It’s 7.15pm on Monday in the UK, as I write this)

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