Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Tricky Electronic Voting Machine

On Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, along with many millions of American citizens, I voted. Because I have moved cross country twice in the last year or so, I voted at a library in the southwest suburbs. Given the major celebrity that I am, I unfortunately cannot give you the address of my location. But if you are a curious young boy of about 7, maybe we can work something out. Big Brother settle down, I'm only kidding.

So I waddle over to the line and it's a decent turn-out. There were probably about 8 or 9 people waiting in front of me. The majority of the people were in the 50-70 age range. Which I fit perfectly in, given that I feel like a 70-year-old man trapped in a 27-year-old body. There were about 5 judges sitting down behind a table, with a box of dunkin donuts on top of it. Because I did not have any breakfast my fat kid instincts were kicking in like no other. Then out of nowhere, some man in a trench coat, almost God-like, drops off a box of variety donut holes from some local bakery. Some of the donut holes evcn had rainbow sprinkles on it! If you know anything about me, it's that I get hard on for rainbow sprinkles. Right at that moment, I thought," I must be a judge in 20012!"

I'm finally second in line and almost ready to vote. There is a gentleman, I suspect in his later 50's in front of me. One of the judges, all of the sudden makes it known, that there is a machine available to use. She says, "It's an electronic machine. It takes a little longer, but its easy to use." The gentleman does not answer, presumably because he wanted to fill out his ballot the traditional way. Bastard! So did I! I don't blame him, but he didn't have to leave me hanging out to dry. So now all eyes on me. Given that, I was representing the youth of America at this voting destination and for the sake of the long line, I loudly proclaimed, "I'll do it." I know people were thinking in their heads, "Wow look at how brave and courage this young man is." Or others may have of thought, "Why does he keep staring at those rainbow sprinkled donut holes?"

I then sat down face to face with my electronic machine. I correctly fed my ballot into machine. So far so good. The ballot was now electronically displayed on the screen and all I had to do was touch screen my votes. Seem easy right? One would think so. I accurately place my finger on the circle next to Obama/Biden (I would've voted for Alf, but his name was not on the ballot). And for some reason this electronic machine, filled in the circle next to McCain/Palin. I mean don't get me wrong, my dad is a Maverick and my mother is a Hockey Mom, and I once dated a Plumber named Joe... Regardless, that's not who I wanted to vote for! I touched the Obama/Biden circle again and it worked. Whew! Now came for the next 20 selections. The touch screen got progressively worse. I would touch the circle of who I wanted to vote for and nothing would happen. I would touch it five, six times and would get nothing. It was almost like the ATM machines, when you are trying withdrawal money. And you want to withdraw $40 and the somehow the machine thinks you hit $20. That error was occurring non-stop! It got to the point with some of the judges, where if the machine selected a different one than I had selected, I just moved on and didn't fix the error. I just wanted to get the heck away from this machine! I turn around and noticed an old lady in a wheel chair behind me. She was waiting to use the same demonic machine, because it was the only voting booth that had a chair. I tried to give her this look, like "Go away from here. Stay away! Far away! Kind of like how you see in those horror movies, where the killer is around, but the other person can't say out loud that it's around. But the little old booger wouldn't budge. I thought our elderly brainwaves would mesh and she would be able to decipher what I was thinking. But there was no luck. She was determined to sit in that chair and vote.

I finally finished up the voting, frustrated and pissed off as hell. What was suppose to be a liberating, fun voting experience turned out to be quite the opposite. All because of this stinkin', demented, voting machine! I thought about grabbing one of the scrumptious donut holes as an FU to the judges for making me use the machine. Fortunately my conscious got the best of me and told me otherwise.

Mysterious old lady in the wheelchair, hopefully you are reading this on your 1994 IBM computer with the AOL dial-up connection. And you accept my sincere apology for not making you aware of the malfunctions of the machine. God knows, you are probably still at the voting station, touching that screen with no luck. Hopefully our paths will cross again in 2012 and we will protest the end of the electronic voting machine.

I'm Out!

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