The New Yorker Endorses Trump!

Just kidding.

They endorsed Clinton, of course. As if anyone gives an actual shit about who The New Yorker or anyone else “endorses”. But this brilliant piece says everything there is to say about it.

Early voting started on Monday and my local library opened its booths at Noon. I went over there at about 12:30 and there had to be 150 people in line ahead of me. I saw a guy came out of the booth with a red “Make America Great Again” ball cap. I guess it can’t be unanimous, even in Massachusetts. But as he passed by me on the way out, I saw that his cap actually read “Make Donald Drumpf Again”. Maybe it CAN be unanimous.

I don’t know why voting is always so much more inconvenient than it needs to be. Let’s just do it on the internet, like we do everything else. Some of the problem is the little system they have in place, and some of the problem is the geriatric volunteers there to “help”. Apart from the helpers squabbling among themselves about who has more pens, etc., you have to jump through too many hoops, and the helpers can get a little discombobulated.

When your turn comes, you step up to the first guy who asks your name, which he can’t hear. After a couple of attempts, you try to spell it out and he can’t find it on his list. Some time goes by and he finally turns his computer screen to you. You point out your name and even this takes three tries.

Then he prints out a little ticket, and says the next woman will help you. You take a step sideways, Soup Nazi style, and stand in front of the second woman who ignores you for what seems like two or three minutes while she shuffles envelopes around and mumbles.

Finally, a third woman next to her calls out to you, “Sir. Sir! Can you please step over here?”  Yes, yes I can. I can step anywhere I’m directed to step. She hands me an envelope and a ballot, tells me to write my name and address on the envelope, sign it, go into the booth, mark the ballot, put the ballot in the envelope and return to her for further instructions.

First, though, we have to find a pen.

Finally, I’m able to actually vote. I return to her, she inspects my name and address, directs me to place the signed envelope in the ballot box and hands me the “I voted” sticker. Whew. All done.

This system is meant to be an improvement over the conventional experience, which is check in with the voters-list guy,  get a ballot and fill it in, put your ballot in the box, and check out with the second voters-list guy.

In eliminating the second voters-list guy in favor of the woman who inspects your signed envelope, they quietly, and probably without too much thought, also eliminated one of the bedrock principles of our free elections: the secret ballot. For the first time, your ballot is now wrapped in an envelope with your name on it.

Well, at least it’s convenient.


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