Today was the Texas primary. Most people I know said they weren’t voting because it doesn’t really matter. In their opinion, it’s basically a way to cull out the lunatic fringe, the people who are running to make a point, and those who just want to see their name on the ballot.
It feels like we just had elections not so long ago. Like maybe even November. Maybe that’s because we live next door to a professional political campaign manager who decorates her lawn for the majority of the year with her employers’ signs. This election I put up some signs of my own, which has pretty much guaranteed that I’m not going to be invited over for coffee or a cocktail any time soon. You’ve probably gathered that we might have different viewpoints.
After living in Canada for 12 years, I don’t think I was fully prepared for all the angry and negative political commercials I’d see here. And in primary time, you see people from the same party throwing barbs at each other with so much hate and vitriol that you wonder how they can espouse the same convictions, much less be in the very same political party. It’s maddening since those spots barely give you any useful information, yet they clutter the main networks when all you’re trying to do is see how cold/hot/wet/snowy it’s going to be during the course of the day. You can put on and take of layers, but you can’t escape the barrage of venom.
And then there’s the actual act of voting. I’ve gotten to the polls pretty consistently since being in Texas. The first place we lived had a much more sophisticated system than the one Dallas has. Each time I’m shocked by the Sharpie and Scantron form approach to voting. What are we doing, taking the SAT? And then, there’s the size of the ballot. Today was a huge 11 x 17 monstrosity featuring all sorts of judge positions that I didn’t even know existed. Everything really is bigger in Texas.
Surprisingly, I was prepared, although due to the post-ice storm work day, I got to the poll almost at closing time. But I had done my homework: I had a little cheat sheet of the candidates of my choice to make the coloring in of the dots a bit quicker. When I pulled it from my purse, I thought the polling officials might tell me to put it away. No one blinked an eye which was odd. I guess the bored polling officials were just glad someone came to vote. The counting machine I used said 273 voters after I fed my sheet in. I hope the other counting machines had at least that much. With all the political smack talk around here, it would really be a shame if not that many people voted.
Ok, enough musing about the sad state of politics. Here’s the gratuitous dog photo of the day: