I made a conscious decision this year to stay away from political fighting prior to the election. It was a difficult endeavor. I had to ignore facebook threads, email forwards and even some portions of the 24 hour news cycle that for some reason has been deemed normal. This was also particularly problematic as I write a weekly email as part of a football league that I run that more often than not makes mention of tax increases and people that think the Federal Government should give shit away for “free”.
I made this decision pretty early on as I have been disillusioned by how both campaigns and their supporters have been blowing things out of proportion. In reality, if President Obama won it wasn’t like all of sudden my effective tax rate was shooting up to 52%. According to 2009 IRS Statistics (the latest released) your Adjusted Gross Income has to be in the top 97% of all earners to get hit with the additional 3.8% healthcare surtax on investments (the number is higher since we are talking about Modified Adjusted Gross Income so even if we triple that we are still talking about the top 10% of earners) [Editors Note: My head just exploded]. Similarly, if Romney succeeded it wasn’t like we were all going to be forced to wear magical Mormon underwear and birth babies conceived from rape. It all seemed not to matter, but nonetheless I voted with my gut.
My Voting Experience
I am not sure when America turned into Paraguay.
I walked into my voting center (which was displaced by Hurricane Sandy) and preceded to tell them where I lived so that they could thenusher me off to a different table. The volunteer who looked to be about 192 years old found me in “the book” only after I spelled my name 6 times and then finally just reached over thecupped hand/arm like he had protecting this holy grail in order to point out my name.
Maybe he was so protective of that book because ID is not required!? I mean come on! I am pretty against all things government and the tracking of citizens, but we are picking our leaders; if now is not a good time to make sure I am who I say I am when is? I had my ID checked before finals at college!
When he confirmed that I was Evan when I said I was Evan, he then handed me a piece of paper with bubbles to fill in. Bubbles?! It look like something out of high school. I took my scantron to a private booth to fill in my bubbles. After I was done I brought it to yet a fourth station for processing. This volunteer put it in the machine and told me I had to wait 8 seconds. Literally 8 seconds. I felt a rush of anxiety that I haven’t felt since I handed in the bar exam, the last real test I ever took. Then the machine beeped.
Fuck, I failed. Some of my bubbles weren’t complete enough! Every student’s worst nightmare. Luckily, this time the “teacher” let me fix my answers after informing me most people don’t usually care and just walk out at this point.
The process was pretty painless and took maybe 20 minutes, but walking to my car I felt like a democracy of 300 million people should have had a process with a little more advances than a 1954 election in South America. [Editors Note: Ironically, 1954 is the year that Paraguay was taken over by a dictator in a military coup d'etat].