I voted!

I had a choice today of standing in line for several hours or – for the first time ever – voting on that official ballot-y thing they sent me in the mail (as long as I then dropped it off by 7 pm tonight).

Due to a pressing appointment to look at 50% off Halloween Candy at Walmart, which just so happens to be on the other side of the street from the ballot drop-off site, I thought, “Meh.  Why not?!  Let’s do it to it.”

I’m not sure why I’ve never voted this way before, choosing instead to stand in line for umpteen hours.  The whole marking-your-answers-on-a-piece-of-paper-and-then-mailing-it-in always seemed better suited for a Johnny Carson Carnac the Magnificent skit.  Or like the whole mess might be found moldering in a cardboard box fifty years from now during a “60 Minutes” exposé.

But I’ve gotta tell ya, someone clearly put some thought into this process.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  It reminded me of a Scan Tron test combined with an Ikea furniture assembly project.  See?  Pleasant and surprising.

First off, before you begin, you’ve got like twenty or so “parts” you should lay out on the table so you can make sure you have all of the twenty or so parts on the table before you begin.  Otherwise, you’re dead in the water and/or someone has clearly stolen your identity so you should probably go get in line at the polling place now and call your credit card company on the way over.

Next, you have to fill the ballot out.  This year’s ballot had a super catchy “Make the Connection” theme wherein you had to connect the back of the arrow to the front of the arrow beside each person/issue for which you were voting “yes.”  The instructions didn’t say what to use, though, to make the connection.  A #2 Pencil seemed a little wishy-washy and prone to error, so I used a hot glue gun.  I wanted the tally folks sitting underground in the bunker to see I was really committed to my choices.

As an interesting side note, I’d like to mention here that many of the ballot questions appeared to have been written by the Unemployment Office folks who always seem to make the questions (inadvertently on purpose?) super confusing.  Like they want you to accidentally give up and leave an unfinished ballot craft project all over your kitchen table because you simply didn’t understand their circuitous rhetoric.  So it was a good thing the form also “translated” the questions into a dumb-dumb version, something along the lines of:  Are you voting ‘for’ or are you voting ‘against’ this issue, ya moron?!?  Uhhhh….wait.  What?  Let me read it again.  And ‘yes’ means for and ‘no’ means against, right?  And left is right and right is wrong.  Tell me about the rabbits, George. 

Then, after you’ve burnt the crap out of your fingers with your hot glue gun, you’ve gotta sign the whole mess using the full (and oh so tedious) legal name you signed all your mortgage documents with and don’t think for a SECOND that they won’t verify your signature using the weird little box o’signatures at the bank.  ‘Cause they will.

Finally…and this is the BEST part because it makes you feel like a spy who has to keep the information out of the hands of the Russians…you slip your hot-glued ballot into the “Secrecy Sleeve.”  OooOOOOOHHHhhhh.  Awesome!!!  SEEEEECRECY SLEEEEEEVE! 

You pop the whole thing into an envelope with flaps and folds and barcodes visible and hand it out your car window to some random chick who’s pitching all the envelopes into a dumpster looking device.

But that assignment’s done.  I’m pretty sure I got an “A” on it.  Either way, the teacher gave me a sticker for my efforts so it’s all good.

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