Election Day

Today is election day, and I am thrilled. Not that we get to exercise our right to vote – although it is heartwarming to see the lengths that folks are going to in the wake of Sandy to exercise that right. But back to me, what I’m excited about is the end to an endless campaign. I’m over the robocalls, the mailbox full of campaign junk, the emails, and the ads. Dear God, the ads. I’ve forgone tv entirely for netflix for at least a month. Ever watch an entire TV series in one weekend? Cuz I have! (You totally should, by the way).

When the Republican primaries started, Baby wasn’t even born. Now, look at her:

toddler-running-halloween

She walks, she runs, she eats with a spoon. She’s even uttered at least 3 sentences (“Hi Kitties!”, “Me up please!” and “Me and Daddy!”). Pretty self-centered, isn’t she?

But back to the election. Every time election year YEARS roll around I lose my mind thinking about all of the money that gets poured into an election. If you want to hurl, click here to see the 2012 numbers. Actually, I’ll save you the math: Billions. Much of it inevitably wasted on the losing candidate. Imagine what could happen if those billions were spent not on nasty slurs and negative ads but on positive change. And I’m not talking Obama here. I’m talking about the potential impact that kind of money would make on the lives of individuals, families, and in communities if it were directed as charitable contributions to nonprofits intsead…

Bite the Ballot

This year’s midterm elections in Arizona meant endless ads for any of the 95 offices and issues up for grabs. The ballot covered every position from governor to state mine inspector and included no fewer than 19 special interest initiatives. Arizona ballot initiatives provide an opportunity for regular citizens to participate in the democratic process . . . and it shows. The idea is so poorly conceived that it requires voters to vote yes or no on each issue, even opposing ones. So, yes, I’d like to ban smoking in restaurants. And yes, I’d like to allow smoking in restaurants. They are always (intentionally?) poorly worded, disenfranchising even the informed. But they do achieve their purpose. They allow all the regular multimillion dollar sleazeballs lobbies to participate equally in spreading rampant racism and homophobia (and generally corrupting the electoral process). I should have known this was a sign of things to come.

I received the early mail-in ballot only to discover a process even dumber than the proposition system itself. In order to select your candidate, you connect a broken arrow by drawing the line between the two points.

mail-in-ballot-picture

Cause they wanted to simplify the procedures, I guess. People had gotten too confused by circling the candidate of their choice or filling in bubbles. A side note: While the accompanying instructions clearly stated “Complete the ballot using no. 2 pencil or pen only. DO NOT USE RED INK,” the last page of the ballot itself read, “Use ink only.”