Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Election Day Again

"I'm surprised they didn't recruit your mother to work at the polls," John said as we walked back to the car after voting at 8:30 am.
The poll workers were a bit confused. They weren't sure how to handle the two of us: me registered Green as well as dropping off Mom's absentee ballot and my husband registered Independent and voting in the Democratic primary.
"What is your mother's address? Not this precinct?"
"Look, it says I can drop off this absentee ballot at any precinct," I argued. "It doesn't have to be her precinct."
"Yeah? Well, okay, drop it right in here. Now, what is your name and address? Sign your name here."
"But the page is upside down... I'll sign but it will be upside down on the page."
"That's okay... that's the way it was printed."
"Shall I just go to any booth?"
"Well, are you going to vote Democratic?"
"No, I'm voting Green."
I stepped up to a random booth, slipped the ballot in the slot of the device, and voted all the nonpartisan offices before I realized I could not vote Green in this booth. There were no pages for the Green candidates. It was a Democratic booth.
So I inked the "nonpartisan voters voting democratic" slot and selected from the Democratic candidates, which in the primary was probably more useful than just voting Green.
~ ~ ~
Mom and I had completed her absentee ballot on Sunday. This time she was not getting the thrill of dropping her own ballot in the box at the polling place; because of my recent surgery, I could not push her wheelchair there.
She's a registered Republican, and I discovered that helping her vote in a primary is harder than in a general election, where she votes the straight Republican ticket.
In the primary, she (that is, I) had to choose between various Republican candidates.
For example, in the race for California state Controller, her choices were between the guy who is endorsed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the guy who in his candidate statement promises "I will support efforts to secure our border against terrorists, criminals, and illegal immigration. That will save billions of dollars spent on the jailing of illegal immigrants who are rapists, burlars, murderers, and other convicted criminals."
Tough choice--she's neither especially anti-immigrant nor especially concerned about protecting her financial resources from school expenditures and other social programs. And both candidates are appalling to me!
Conclusion: maybe it's time to stop trying to help her vote in elections.
I could just pretend no election is happening and leave her one more step removed from her earlier life.

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