Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Democracy inaction.

So... I just snapped at an election judge. An African-American old-old-lady election judge. Here's the scenario:

I arrive to vote at 6:00 am. I'm 20th or so in line. They don't open the doors until 6:20. The first person (also an old lady, so there may have been old lady communication problems) gets her ballot at 6:30. Things get marginally quicker as time passes, but as we get closer, everyone around me notices the judge in charge of looking people up in the big book o'registration doesn't have the world's firmest grasp on alphabetical order. As in, she's looking for McCall, gets to McGreevey, and keeps heading back through the book until Ms. McCall sticks her finger in the book and says "M-c-*C*".

Here comes me:
Me: Williams.
OL: [flips to "T", looks confusedly at the book]
Me: Williams. W.
OL: [flips to "S", starts conversation with other election judge]
Me: (loudly) WILLIAMS. WITH A W.
OL: [flips to V, tries to answer question asked to election judge a table away from us]
Person behind me: HER NAME IS WILLIAMS. [begins commenting to head election official, right next to old lady, that someone else needs to maybe be in charge of the book]
OL: [flips to blank forms behind the alphabet, keeps flipping through them.]
Me: Ma'am, those are blank. You've gone past Z. Williams. With a W.
OL: I didn't even know there were blank ones back here! [Gets to w-a, starts flipping forward]
Person behind me: [ever louder complaining that somebody else seriously needs to be in charge of the book]
OL: It's going slow because we're short one election judge.
Me: I don't see how another election judge will help you grasp the concept of alphabetical order.

So, yeah. I'm a bad, bad voter. I ended up not voting until 6:50, though, and it's gonna be a HUGE problem as the day wears on if she doesn't speed it up. Four of the eight booths were empty because the pace was so slow.

Anyhoo, on a more positive note--Go out and vote! Vote early, mainly because the lines are gonna be FIVE MILES LONG after work! You, too, can snap at elderly election officials!

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...