Voting is one of those things that just make me feel virtuous. It’s like donating towels to the animal shelter or turning in a car-load of recyclables or, I imagine, giving blood. It just puts a spring in my step, and I can go home and be a lazy slob with a clear conscience.
Today’s voting experience was clearly stacked with extra feel-good elements. Everyone at the polling place obviously was on a similar high of civic engagement. Three generations of one family showed up at the same time we did, and everyone was delighted that they’d brought the new baby to get him or her in the habit early (though I don’t think he or she had time to register).
I had never used an electronic voting machine before. While I’ve heard all of the stories about their unreliability, I can’t say I missed the paper ballot with the Number 02 pencil, as that always invoked uncomfortable memories of standardized tests and the certainty that I hadn’t filled in the bubbles correctly (either too faint or too enthusiastic) and wouldn’t get into the college of my choice. I did wonder why it didn’t ask me if I wanted cash back after casting my ballot, but that’s probably a side effect of spending too much time in the self-check-out at the grocery store.
I’m very anxious about the results of this election, even more at the local level. An out-of-state coal executive has been spending who knows how much cash to ensure a Republican majority in the state legislature, funding advertisements without the apparent participation or approval of the candidates he supports. I’m hoping the transparency of the ploy manages to swing things in the opposite direction. The backlash from Democrats in the state has been vicious but hilarious.
Anyway, go vote.