In the garage of a small condo building up the street Arvin and I cast our votes for 2008. The fatigue from the constant bombardment that typifies the election season is only exceeded by the anticipation of (or anxiety over) the outcomes.
Our love of direct democracy in California seems to grow with every election. This year there were 34 ballot measures to vote on, along with the scant 8 political offices up for grabs, including the most coveted one of all: the one to replace W. (Why on earth would anyone want to clean up that mess?)
San Francisco snapshot:
- State voter guide: 143 pages
- State supplement (Prop 1A): 15 pages
- # of state ballot initiatives: 12
- SF voter guide: 272 pages
- # of local ballot initiatives: 22
Preparation is everything
We were in line for about 20 minutes waiting for one of seven voting stations. When we arrived there was a guy at the second station in from the door. When we left, after registering our votes, he was still there, his head down, his back to the room. We could only assume he was reading the ballot for the very first time and making his decisions on the fly.
I don’t blame the guy for coming to the polls and being overwhelmed. Thirty-four measures is a lot. I’ll cut him some slack because (1) he was voting, and (2) it takes a lot of time to pore through 415 pages of voter information. But he loses significant points because (1) he didn’t prepare like the rest of us and (2) he sucked up enough time that at least four other people could have voted.
Can’t get enough?
In case 24 hour news coverage isn’t enough (I use the term ‘news’ cautiously and, in some cases, with righteous indignation), there are some election day live blogs on HuffingtonPost.com that you can add to your reading list of…oh, about 116,000,000 million online references to the 2008 elections (google it: “2008 elections united states”).
Now the long night of results…