Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Red & Blue Make Purple

Let me preface this by saying that I cast my absentee ballot last week. I voted absentee in Greene County because I would not be in Springfield on Election Day. This was the first time that I have ever voted absentee, and my first thoughts were that I preferred the absentee method. I had my ballot and was also armed with my laptop so I could do last minute research on the issues and candidates. Even with this ability, and prior research, Question 1 stumped me.

Submitted by Petition
Mo. Const. Art. V, Sec. 25(b)
Shall the circuit and associate circuit judges of the 31st judicial circuit be selected as provided in
Section 25 of Article V of the Missouri Constitution?
NO □

The way this question is worded confused me AND my laptop. Who wants to vote AGAINST the Missouri Constitution? Apparently, I do, and did, but I worry that the wording will confuse some voters and cause them to vote opposite of their intentions. Time shall tell.

Even with the knowledge that I had researched each and every issue backwards, forwards, inside out, and upside down, something was missing. Something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Until 8:20 am this morning. I arrived at the St. Robert Community Center with a friend. Her purpose was to vote, mine was to witness the fist shaking, foot stomping, spitting, rock throwing, bloody riot firsthand. I was disappointed. After two years of constant bombardment by campaign messages and 24/7 internet coverage of the Divided United States of America, I fully expected the anger evidenced online to spill over in the polling place, like a segment of “The View” gone horribly wrong. It did not happen. My voyeuristic voting experience was overall, boring. Two campaigners were outside the Community Center and inside the building the atmosphere was that of a….Community Center. Even though we were visibly separated by white lines that sorted us out by the first letter of our last name, the unspoken separation of Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Christian, and Atheists barely rippled, not even the hint of an undercurrent. Instead people chatted about their children, their work, the Waynesville Tigers football team. The people who spew hate, on both sides, from the anonymity of their computers, were silent. Instead the overall feeling that I experienced at the poll, and had missed with my absentee voting experience, was that of camaraderie. By 8:50 am, my faith in the Undivided United States of America was temporarily restored. Sometimes, boring is good.

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