Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Voting in Boston

So, yesterday, I go to the polls like any good person would do (though I have to admit that I skipped out on ten minutes of public health class to do it) and found something very disturbing. I was in a hurry (because I was in the middle of the aforementioned class) and was trying to find my polling place. When I came upon some people who looked like they would be involved in polling and asked them if this was the polling place. They said yes, proceeded to talk to me about something, hand me something in Chinese (I'm in Chinatown, after all) and then dismiss me. When I finally got to looking at what they had handed me, they were campaign materials!

So, I may have been a little spoiled in California, but I think it's totally absurd that right outside my polling place (literally ten feet from the entrance), I was being distributed campaign materials. California does have a law that prohibits the distribution of campaign materials within a certain radius of a polling place, including putting up posters and those silly paper things with wooden sticks. Somehow, that always made sense to me and I took it for granted - until I was inundated with campaign materials right before I step into a polling place. Does this seem absurd to anyone else? I didn't even realize they were campaign workers (i.e. they weren't wearing stickers or pins or anything like that).

But besides that, I have an issue to bring up regarding voter turnout. Granted, it was only a primary election where only two seats (sheriff and something else) were contested, but only 15% of registered voters turned out. That is so sad. It's a sad, sad world where no one takes the opportunity to take 15 minutes out of their day to circle in a few bubbles. And, God forbid, if they also take another 15 minutes to look up the issues and the candidates on the ballot beforehand.

Well, that's my rant. Go out and vote. Especially on November 2. I don't care who you vote for, but that you at least put your name down. You don't have to vote for anyone. Just show up. Make me believe in a system where people actually exercise some minimal control over what happens in their lives.

No comments: