Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I (More or Less) Voted Today

Simon likes to vote. Simon votes whenever given the opportunity. Except that one time when Simon didn't know anything about the school budget and didn't really want to vote on it, but Simon's father dragged Simon to the high school anyway after Simon's mother told Simon how Simon probably would want to vote.

Simon votes at every opportunity whether Simon feels like it or not.

Thus, the well-trained Simon arrived at the town polling center at 8:25 this morning to do what Americans almost by definition do: vote on stuff. In this instance, unlike the school budget scenario, Simon was well-informed and of a very strong mind. Simon marched into the polling station (otherwise known as the #6 Rotary Community Center or something else quaint), arms akimbo, and said, "I am Simon!"

And they said, "Who?"

"Simon!"

"You're not in the book. Have you moved recently?"

"I am Simon! I am here to vote!"

"Are you registered?"

At this point, Simon surprised herself by turning from Giddy Voter to Election Official's Worst Nightmare. "Pardon? You do not have 'Simon' in your book? How can you not have 'Simon' in your book? My permanent address has been the same for almost a quarter of a century. I have voted here since I turned eighteen. I have never voted anywhere else. I am an American citizen AND I WILL VOTE!"

"If you'd like to step over here and fill out an affidavit . . ."

"A what?"

"Fill out this ballot, put the ballot inside the envelope, fill out the envelope, and we'll take it to the board of elections. And they'll verify it."

"They'll verify . . . that I live where I live. Where I have always lived. Where, to the best of the Board of Election's knowledge, I have never not lived?"

"Yes."

"And then what? When will this be counted? Is it like an absentee ballot? They only count it if they need it? What if someone accidentally EATS IT on the way to the Board of Elections and THAT'S the one they NEEDED?"

"If you'd like to go to the Board of Elections and get a court order to use the machine, you can do that."

"That won't be necessary, thank you. I have to go to work. I am a hard-working American and I am late for work, where I work hard. For the British. But that is beside the point. Give me my stupid affidavit."

And so I voted. And then I went to work, where I did not work but harrassed the Board of Elections by phone.

"Excuse me, I am an American citizen and I had to vote on an affidavit. What are you people doing down there, making paper airplanes out of registration documents?"

The woman I spoke with refused to believe that this was the worst thing that had ever happened to anyone on voting day. She consulted her computer, or some deer droppings, it is always hard to tell over the phone, and she informed me that the Board of Elections had sent something to my house in August, but it was returned to them as undeliverable.

Because a piece of mail went astray, they assumed I had moved.

This, evidently, is enough to get a person removed from the Voting Book Thing, which is enough to make it so you can't vote except for on a ballot that will never be counted.

"Were you on vacation in August? Away from home?" said the deer-dropping investigator.

Because when you're not standing at your mailbox waiting for the mailman to physically put your mail in your hands, he just dumps it straight in the garbage. There's a huge garbage can in the back of those trucks. That's not mail back there, that's garbage. Un-de-liverable garbage.

After I call the post office tomorrow to find out whether they're, you know, delivering mail or just receiving and shredding it, I'll be calling back the Board of Elections, and I will do that over and over again until my eloquent castigation of their staggeringly inaccurate operation makes them break down. I am Simon! When Simon doesn't get to vote, others must be made to cry.

4 comments:

Ivan said...

You know what? My name wasn't on the list either and I'm beginning to think this was a republican conspiracy. They read the post where you revealed your grandmother wanted to bite the president (she should have) and decided we were dangerous. We're probably on the no-fly list too. The fabulous tale of two disenfranchised hedgehogs.

Simon said...

!!!

That's too weird.

Matthew said...

You know I've always, up until now, thought it was benign gathering, but now I'm not so sure: What do you two DO when you get together for Magic Hat and Fancy Cakes?!?!

Katie P. said...

Despite being disenfranchised and trodden on, you did manage to write a wonderful blog post. Now everyone will flock to your blog screaming of the unfairness of it all and the ACLU will have you be their new poster child.

I was awoken (bitterly) with a phone survey this morning. A survey, that, it turns out, was from the Republicans (found that out later). That pissed me off because I was sleeping and I was sick. Plus the republicans won governor again (by 1%). Enough rant.