So I just returned from voting and I have to admit that I am disappointed. Now where I live, while pretty densely populated, is a political nowhere zone, and in an election year where literally everything is local you find enthusiasm very limited. Many people do not bother to vote. What I noticed was that most of the crowd was elderly (and their caretakers, whether family or professional, the family members asking idiotic questions as though their mother or father had completely lost their mind, thus probably making them ineligible to vote, or merely under the influence of somebody else, incapable of making up their own mind).
Anyway, other than a specific question that I cannot imagine a single person voting no on, (it is meant to protect children from violence), these were the only categories I had to choose from: 2 Judges of Superior Court, 4 Judges on the Court of Common Pleas, 3 City Council members (which it alerts the voter to the fact that this is a four year term), a local district attorney, the 6-year term of a Magisterial District Judge, 5 School Directors of the district that my children attend, 2 Councilors at-Large and then, running unopposed, there is something vaguely referred to as ‘Council,’ an Auditor and the Constable. If some of these political titles are confusing or mean nothing to you you are not alone.
I arrived at the polling place, and as is always the case I was set upon by Republicans and Democrats, shoving sample ballots and specific propaganda for candidates they represent, each side begging me to vote for a “Strong Republican” or “All Democratic” ticket. The opposing sides seemed on the most part friendly, although all of them clearly believed one another to be imbeciles. To one of the partisans I handed the other partisan’s paperwork and he laughed, presuming that I was on his side.
I repeat that such a minor local election is traditionally under attended, but this is a terrible mistake on the part of those living in a community. Sure, the categories are unexciting and the news made is pretty minor, larger cities having elections for Mayor and other higher profile positions. But you know the cliche:
Or, to put it more purposefully,
Your local school board, the judges that interpret the laws or impose the customs for holidays and celebrations, those city councilors that make wild decisions based on the paranoid ranting of a neighbor who supported them, all of this matters. These people form the attitude of a whole community, whether pro or con, be it way too enthusiastic or crushingly and hopelessly cynical. Such attitudes bleed directly into the larger statewide and national elections once they come around, mostly independent people inspired one way or the other by they support or loathing of one of these otherwise meaningless individuals with impressive sounding jobs.
It does not matter specifically who I voted for, at least in disclosure in a piece such as this, but I voted in every category. I also made the first write-in vote of my life, challenging one of the unopposed candidates who lives up the street from me and whom I cannot stand, and scribbling in–and this is absolutely true–‘Satan.’ It makes me wonder if the indifferent polling place might find zero people voting in the unchallenged election and finding the Dark Lord winning. I wonder if he might come up from Hell to serve in office, perhaps doing at least no worse than anyone before him. Although I do not believe he is a resident of this district (or even the state), so I doubt he is eligible for office.
And so to end I wish to once more state that every election matters, no matter what meaningless asshole is running for a seat you have neither an interest in nor an understanding of what that person is supposed to do and why it matters to anyone. It is about the feeling of the community, about an understanding of where exactly it is that you live. This is why all of this is important. Now watch the news this evening, see whatever nonsense they focus on (switch around and see the various biases on display), and then get ready for 2020, which might just be the most vicious election in the history of our nation.