Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So did you vote?

Apparently there was a primary election today which I came very close to completely missing. I didn't realize there would be an election until I saw the signs instructing me to vote. When I came home my parents told me to vote for some Jewish guy because his automated phone call advertisements wished everyone a happy new year. I figured since there was probably such a low showing for these "secret" elections, now was my chance to put my candidate into office. When I asked my mother for any other tips, she instructed me to vote for such and such on the first column and the top one on the second column. As I walked to vote I focused on remembering those instructions.

When I arrived I was greeted with some surprises. The first thing I noticed was the lacking of those mechanical ballot boxes with big handle bars that were impossible to operate. After all these years of technological advancement, the ballot was finally ready to be electronicly converted. Alas the skill that took me years to master was now completely worthless. I couldn't think of another venue for utilizing my ballot box talents. The complicated ballot box would become nothing more than good stories to tell over to my future grandchildren.

The new voting process involves filling the bubbles of your favorite candidates, and watching your paper being eaten by a computer. Aside from the fact that the assistant can see who you voted for, I think this system is much better because it allows for people to vote faster. It's also nice to have a computer thank you for voting even if you didn't pick the correct answers. This actually brings me to the famous question: What are the correct answers? Who do you vote for?

The second surprise was closely related to this conundrum. When I received my ballot, I noticed that I had different choices than those of my parents. I was given the republican choices and my parents had been given the democrat choices. When I was younger I was brainwashed by some republican talk shows, and this caused me to fill in their bubble when registering to vote. However, I didn't realize the long-term consequences of that decision. Now I had no idea who to vote for. I began to have those feelings similar to the time when I had to take a Hebrew test, and I had to translate the English phrases into Hebrew words. I saw lots of names, but I had no real information.

Since the names were all I had, that was what I had to use. First I thought of choosing the names that sounded familiar, and in the event that none sounded familiar I would choose the name that sounded most American. But then I realized that the familiar names were familiar for a reason. Either I received way to many pieces of junk mail from them, or they manipulated my mind in some way that was not understood to me. Also, voting for the American name sounds like a very lame thing to do. I don't have an American name. Why should an American name decide anything? Instead I voted for those candidates without American names, and I specifically voted for those whose names I had never heard. I left feeling like I had actually voted (thanks to the "thank you" on the computer screen), but I was not sure if I had picked the correct answers. Fortunately, I was only voting for the Republican nominees, and in New York it is quite rare for a Republican to win anything.

Today's experience taught me how to vote properly. The process is quite simple. If you happen to know something about the candidates (if one happens to be your best friend) just vote for that magic one. But if you have no idea, try to vote in the most creative way possible. At least this way the results will be completely random, and all the candidates will get their equal share.


  1. Impressive way to vote. I wonder why everyone doesn't do the same thing?

  2. Unfortunately, most people don't vote if they have no idea what the correct answers are. Also, my approach really takes guts. Most people would rather do the good old "pick the first guy on the list" approach.