Saturday, January 26, 2008

One Man's Vote: The South Carolina Democratic Primary

So, today is the day. The South Carolina Democratic Primary is going on right now.I have already cast my vote. It was an easy decision; Dennis Kucinich withdrew from the race yesterday, as I had figured he would (he needs to focus on getting re-elected to Congress). With him gone from the race, I was left with only one person I consider halfway decent: John Edwards. He is now my choice for President. Should he bow out, I will probably vote for McCain. If he's gone, then I might write-in my vote for someone to be determined later. Only, there's no write-ins allowed because the voting machines are dummed-down push-button electronic types.

I would not be surprised if people complained about the voting machines here. It was confusing; like one of those video slot machines with 15 paylines, 5 rows, and 5 columns. I can easily see the elderly or the less-educated having a very difficult time completing the ballot. For example, there was only one race, but it said "Would you like to review all votes in all races?" If you go back, then it goes straight to the presidential race, and you can't escape from that page unless you click "Verify vote." Then you have to go to another page, with entirely too much text, that asks if you want to confirm your vote. Once you do this, you're done. Louisiana's voting machines are one million times easier to understand than the ones here. I should've looked at what model they were. Oh well.

About 9AM this morning, I got a recorded phone call telling me to vote for John Edwards because "he's a Carolina native and understands us" and because we "need to show Hillary Clinton that she can't ignore us or take us for granted." I'm not sure what that means exactly, but the guy's THICK accent convinced me (I'm joking of course; I hate political phone calls, especially recorded ones).

I took Marley with her so she could see how voting worked. We went at 10AM and only 16 people had voted before me. Marley thought it was cool. Before we went I explained to her what voting was, why it was important, and why I was voting for John Edwards. I held her up so she could watch me vote; they gave her a little "I voted today" sticker, which thrilled her. Mickelle doesn't vote because, quote, "I don't want to put the energy into figuring out who I like the best" and "They all lie, so why bother?" Half the time, I agree with her. Today, I felt like I could make a difference. Maybe I feel inspired that one man can make a difference, because I've been reading the remarkable works of Bartolomé de las Casas. My enthusiasm waxes and wanes.

Imagine what could've been with a man like this in the White House:

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