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I Voted

November 4th, 2008

My polling place is considerably more crowded than usual. The excessive amount of democracy has caused a corresponding drop in the oxygen level, and I’m pretty sure that prospective voters will start passing out around 9:30 am if they don’t prop open a door.

That said, it only took about a half hour to vote, most of which was spent carefully darkening circles on the ballot–to ensure that I didn’t accidentally vote for Ralph Nader–and reading the needlessly obtuse referendum verbiage. (Actual question: “Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Champaign County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to .02% above the limiting rate for levy year 2007 and be
equal to .0919% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2008?” Fuck if I know.)

As I took my voter form to a charming African-American poll worker, I thought to myself about the remarkable nature of this day. The span between Martin Luther King having a dream and millions of Americans marking a ballot to elect our first black president seemed simultaneously a few heartbeats and far, far too long.

I went back and darkened in my circles a bit more, as I listened to a parent with a gaggle of children in tow explain the voting process, and a couple of first-time voters struggle through the ballot questions. And after I’d deposited my completed form in the electronic scanner and received my “I Voted” sticker (which today I wear with pride), I felt for a moment that maybe all the nonsense of the past two years had been worth it. Perhaps this crazy democracy works after all.

Get back to me about it tomorrow.

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