Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blogging the Vote

Vote aqui! The sign may not say that next
year, now that English is "official"

Most years, I do my voting when I get off work. Not today, though. The election was on my mind. So I did my last bit of pre-election homework - confirming which state legislative district holds my little city block neighborhood. I eventually found a page on the state website that drew the district lines, and let me superimpose a map of my neighborhood. Aha! It was the one with the guy whose name resembles the word "pretzel." Yes, I voted for him in the primary. And the Democratic state senator was running unopposed.

With this information nailed down, I compiled yet another cheat sheet from a newspaper's online list, and headed over to the local elementary school to vote.

This is just part of the parking lot.

When I got there, the parking lot was the most crowded with cars that I've ever seen it. There were open spaces, but well back. School was probably in session, though, so some of those cars may have belonged to school employees.

I'm glad they post a sample ballot at the door,
but it seems a bit late in the game for research.

One of the many anti-immigrant measures that have been on the ballot here in recent years was one that requires voters to show ID. It's kind of weird, though, because if you don't have a driver's license, you can make do with a couple of utilities bills addressed to you. Anyway, I got to the school, went to get out my driver's license, and it wasn't in my wallet! I took it out one night to take to the gym, and forgot to put it back. A quick trip home took care of that. I went back to the school, license in hand. Still, I wonder whether my security badge from work, which does have my picture of it, would have been acceptable ID. I actually don't have a problem with showing ID, as long as it's reasonably easy for non-drivers to have something that works.

I had the candidates memorized, but I did
follow my cheat sheet pages on the propositions.

It probably took me at least five minutes to vote. The ballot was about 11x17", something like that anyway, printed on both sides. I barely read the titles of the propositions, just enough to confirm which one it was as I filled in little YES and NO ovals with a felt tip pen. I think in the end I voted for three Republicans, one of whom was the mine inspector, running unopposed. John joked that he should have run for that office. Another Republican happened to be named Dean Martin, but that's not why I voted for him.

My Democratic congressional candidate won, and was congratulated in person by the retiring moderate Republican. Senator Kyl was reelected - too bad, but I expected that, and anyway the Democrat in that race was no prize. Janet Napolitano was re-elected with something like 62.4% of the vote.

The big thrill of the night for me is that the Democrats retook the House and are on the verse of reclaiming the Senate. The big disappointment is that a number of conservative, xenophobic anti-immigrant propositions have passed. The big squeaker was a proposition that would deny benefits to anyone who isn't legally married. That seems to be losing, by about 2% of the vote. I'm aghast that it was even close.

Still, as elections go, I'm pretty happy overall. It should be a lot harder now for GWB to make things worse than they already are.


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Carly said...

What a great entry you have written here. A Day In The Life Of A Voter From Arizona. :) A personal day of history. :)

Always, Carly

Bea said...

Dang, I could have brought my camera with me to vote, then come home and written about it... why didn't I think of that? But I did get out and vote, and I did bring my own cheat sheets, and NCAE recommendations... my husband doesn't take cheat sheets... I don't know his process for choosing... we don't talk politics in the house much because often we disagree. Sometimes our votes have cancelled each other out! But this year, for the big seats, we're on the same page. This entry is a piece of Americana. Bea