Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Day, 2006

So I voted the other day. It was quite easy this time, as there were no waiting lines, as had been during the presidential elections in 2004. The polling was conducted in public schools here in New York City (all school kids have the day off on Election Day, though that might vary from state to state). The voting booths were set up in the school’s gymnasium, and staffed mostly with retired folks, who took visible pride in conducting their duly-sworn, civic duties. The old African-American lady who verified my registration must have been about 80 years old. It was obvious that the other ladies gave her that honorific little job to do, though they stood by to assist. In a sentimental way, that little gesture kind of moved me.

I counted 10 different political parties with candidates in the fray. They were:

Working Families
Rent Is Too High
Socialist Workers
Socialist Equality

The voting was done in these quite antiquated, mechanical lever devices which had a heavy curtain draping the voter in front of the lever board, displaying all the 30-70 or so candidates . Although voter fraud cases in New York City have rarely been reported (and I have a feeling no one wants to mess with the ladies in charge with electoral conduct), I’ve always wondered how long a state like New York will rely on these mechanical hulks. It seems there are so many ways where fraud is possible, - and if it’s possible, maybe probable - if New York ever becomes a state where key national voting decisions are made. It’s a worry, for anyone, of any party, who cares about democracy.

Later, in my busy day, I was surprised to find that almost all of the people I dealt with had taken the trouble to vote (though admittedly, I deal with a lot of hard-working, thinking people. My favorite bartendress, though, said she wasn’t going to vote, simply because she has no idea what the issues really are. Fair enough.) It’ll be interesting to see how this mid-term election compares in tally with other mid-terms in the past.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the party programs of the different parties except for the dems, reps and greens?


2:25 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Google them and you'll find out.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Puntti, I thought you were supposed to be a Finn and a Finnish citizen. I recall you claimed that before.

But now you are - a citizen of USA?

Could you clear this for us, now?

5:12 PM  
Blogger BigHairyFinn said...

Well, you can be a dual citizen nowadays. Accident of birth location USA and mother a Finn...

I was more interested as how you figure out the Finnish system of actually having to be able to read and write the number in the circle...

And that all eligible residents are sent a card that states where to go to vote, or use as a pre-ballot...

1:50 PM  
Blogger Reg Cæsar said...

What are the party programs of the different parties...

In New York it doesn't always matter. Third parties can choose to endorse a major-party candidate on their own lines, something which is not allowed in other states, nor in other countries with systems similar to the US, and often these parties are looking less to enact their own program than to pull the big parties their way.

Conspicuously absent from this list are the Liberal Party, founded in the 1940s, and the Right to Life Party, born in the 1970s. I used to joke that the Conservative Party existed to keep the Republicans from drifting too far to the left, while the Liberal Party kept the Democrats from drifting too far... to the left.

6:17 PM  

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