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Nov 06 2012

Civic duty accomplished

I voted, and as you can infer from my patriotic lapel pin, I voted straight Kraken party.

20121106-083621.jpg

Except that I did vote for that annoying Obama fellow. I also voted to consign the Republican marriage amendment and the Republican voter registration exclusion law to the fiery flames of hell.

118 comments

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  1. 1
    Olav

    I understand your reasons for voting for Obama. However, if I were you I would need a shower afterwards.

    Or perhaps find consolation in a beautiful song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPSlpQTQQmg

  2. 2
    Zeno

    I also voted to consign the Republican marriage amendment and the Republican voter registration exclusion law to the fiery flames of hell.

    But that place doesn’t exist! (Although I concede I’d make an exception for some GOP platform items.)

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    You have my thanks.

  4. 4
    dianne

    the fiery flames of hell.

    I would have thought that the Minnesota mythos would have a cold hell.

  5. 5
    W. Kevin Vicklund

    I’ve voted, but my civic duty is not yet accomplished. My cousin’s kid is going to the nearby college and doesn’t have a mode of transportation to her polling station, so I’m driving her an hour (one-way) to go vote. And since my cousin’s car got into an argument with an ungulate last month, I’m going to pick her up on the way.

  6. 6
    Alverant

    Civic duty accomplished. They moved the polling place from the last election further back on the lot so that the street is out of the 100 foot “no campaigning” limit. Naturally there were Rethuglian signs out by the entrance in accordance to the letter (though not the intent) of the law.

  7. 7
    a3kr0n

    I’m in the wrong city to vote until later today. I can’t vote for marriage equality, we already codified inequality into our constitution here in WI. I don’t care if I throw my vote away I will not vote for the murderer.

  8. 8
    dianne

    I voted. Along with the usual national level votes, I voted for the pro-gun control attorney general and against austerity in the local government. Interest rates are low: now IS the time to borrow, Philadelphia!

  9. 9
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Thank you everybody for voting.
    Really, please, this world depends on you. We don’t need more wars, we don’t need more social inequality, we don’t need another blow to already struggeling economies.

  10. 10
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I don’t care if I throw my vote away I will not vote for the murderer.

    The following constituencies would like to thank you for cleaving to your deeply held principles. They understand that it is their lot to suffer in a quiet and dignified way when someone exercises his conscience at their expense:

    The Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered Folk, and Queers of all stripes.
    Women (even though they’re not fully sentient)
    People of color
    Poor people
    Poor people’s children (they promise not to cry when mom tells them no more lunches cuz not enough foodstamps).

  11. 11
    Randomfactor

    I just KNEW Obama was fronting for our squidly overlords…

  12. 12
    blf

    Voting for the Krakens is not going to prevent you from being bitten in half and then swallowed.
    Of course, not voting for the Krakens is also not going to prevent you from being bitten in half and then swallowed.
    They don’t really care.

    (But I hear bumbling morons taste bad — and so aren’t bitten in half. They’re stuffed whole into the bacon slicer.)

  13. 13
    Nick Gotts

    Thank you everybody for voting.
    Really, please, this world depends on you. We don’t need more wars, we don’t need more social inequality, we don’t need another blow to already struggeling economies. – Giliell

    QFT

  14. 14
    md

    H.L. Mencken: every election is sort of an advance auction in stolen goods.

  15. 15
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I voted.

    The minuses: Odd smell. Voting place was at a rec center, and it smelled of musty locker room.
    The plusses: Short line. Free coffee! A man came in, loudly announced that it was his first time voting, because he got his citizenship papers two weeks previously, and then proudly showed them to everyone. The poll workers congratulated him and everyone applauded.

    There weren’t any ballot questions, just various people running for office.

  16. 16
    Lynna, OM

    video of voting machine incorrectly tabulating an Obama vote as a Romney vote:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpGd74DrBM&feature=youtu.be

    This was in central Pennsylvania:

    My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.

    I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

    I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.” and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

    There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I’m not a video guy, but if it’s possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more.

  17. 17
    dianne

    The plusses: Short line.

    I had a longish line, but given that I’m in a Democratic part of a marginal swing state I considered that a plus.

  18. 18
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    History texts don’t particularly care whether you stuck to principles during an election. They certainly don’t remember it. No election takes place in Utopia, it’s a moment of swallowing pride and making harder choices. Voting that accomplishes nothing but peaceful inner glow and a meaningless blip on a stats sheet while possibly allowing a party of anti-science, anti-intellectualism, anti-poor, anti-LGBT rights, racism, anti-immigration, global warming denying and theocracy to take power of a country of 330 million people is simply irresponsible. Contrast the dozens of people that have died in drone strikes under the current administration vs. the hundreds of thousands that died under the last GOP administration’s cowboy diplomacy, and then think of that possibility being brought back. Rmoney won’t go to Washington alone. He will have in tow every cartoonishly simple TeaBagger, evangelical zealot and warhawk available to the party. There are times that protests votes make a meaningful difference and can be safely done. This isn’t one of those times. History books won’t look kindly on the people that made it possible for Bush Jr. to be elected in 2000. They certainly won’t look kindly on allowing an ‘End Times’ believing Mormon in charge of the nuclear launch code book, if there’s even anyone around to publish a historical text because of insane wars or a parched planet with runaway greenhouse effect.

    It’s your vote to do with what you want. But the question should always be what ramifications are there in that vote for you, the people around you, and everyone else that’s stuck on this FSM-forsaken orb. If the negative ramifications outweigh the effect of not voting or making a protest vote, you haven’t really achieved any sort of ethical victory at all. Quite the opposite.

  19. 19
    anteprepro

    I don’t care if I throw my vote away I will not vote for the murderer.

    Awww, isn’t that precious ? You won’t for a “murderer”, preferring to risk handing over the reigns to someone who promises to be even more murdery than the previous “murderer”. But he doesn’t have any actual blood on his hands yet, so who cares if he finally gets the power to do so.

  20. 20
    Nepenthe

    And since my cousin’s car got into an argument with an ungulate last month

    Arguing with an ungulate is as pointless as arguing with a devout libertarian and more destructive. My sympathies.

  21. 21
    Akira MacKenzie

    Civic duty accomplished last week. My work schedule is so “flexible” and there is the ever-present spector of “mandatory overtime” that I voted early. Yes, I held my nose and voted for “ROMNEY WOULD BE WORSE” if only to keep from being accused of helping put Mittens in power if Barry lost.

  22. 22
    anteprepro

    (Forgot a “vote” and it should be “reins”)

  23. 23
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Lynna, #16.

    Jesus fucking Christ. What enrages me even more than the transparently unnecessary and motivated use of complicated electronic technology to vote: The fact that it’s now unremarkable and normal. Instead of saying, “Whoah. Enough. Stop. No more of this,” people will natter on about the machines should have better touchscreen technology, how it’s easy to re-calibrate them so stop worrying, how we should thoroughly test the machines. . .

    No. None of that. Paper ballots. Simply, clearly designed paper ballots. Hand-counting and independent oversight as well as multiple cross-checks.

    This isn’t reasonable or normal, folks.

  24. 24
    Ing

    @Akira

    You did the right thing.

  25. 25
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I don’t care if I throw my vote away

    The eternal lament of the perpetually self-absorbed white straight person (yeah, I’ll bet my paycheck). It’s My Sacred Vote. Me. Mine. My franchise. My choosy choice.

    Be honest at least. You don’t give a flying fuck if you throw away the ability of poor people to keep their kids fed, of women to live instead of dying because a hospital refuses an abortion (if she can even get to a hospital let alone pay one), of queers to full legal status.

    You’re throwing other people away. That’s what you’re doing. It’s evil.

  26. 26
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    My precinct uses paper ballots that you fill in circles on, and then a scantron reads it. And the paper ballot is set aside and saved. Easy-peasy and nearly idiot-proof.

    Where I used to live, they had a machine that had you punch holes in a ballot by pulling little levers. A bit less idiot-proof.

  27. 27
    Ing

    I swear white people treat their vote like it’s always their first time and they’re saving themselves for marriage.

  28. 28
    Pteryxx

    Via JT’s election open thread: report voter suppression tactics to the DOJ here:

    If you are being pestered by these people, notify the DoJ by calling 1-800-253-3931. Spread the word.

    http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/

    Contact form, address, etc:

    http://www.justice.gov/crt/spec_topics/election2012/election2012contact.php

    JT’s open thread:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/11/election-open-thread/

    (also crossposted in Lounge)

  29. 29
    unbound

    Found a bubble to get in and out in about 25 minutes (line was over 90 minutes early this morning and is growing again). Chose the paper ballot…both for speed as well as the better capability for a recount if that should happen (in battleground state of Virginia).

    Not happy with Obama, but a much better choice than Romney. Honestly, I will just be happy with the phone calls stopping. Been hammered with robocalls for the past month.

  30. 30
    richardelguru

    I voted for the first time (only citizenized last year) AND I’m wearing a ‘Texans for Obama’ T-shirt. (And as a sop to the Republicans I’m wearing magic undies—I’m not quite sure what they are supposed to do, but I can report that I’ve NEVER got pregnant whilst wearing them!)
    –Richard

  31. 31
    imkindaokay

    I wish I could vote; I think all of Europe wishes it could vote for Obama.

    But it seems likely he will win, he’s ahead in all the important swing state polls (speaking of which, I don’t know why the argument ‘Romney was great in Massachusetts’ comes up again and again when they clearly don’t like him).

    We’re holding an all-nighter at our SU, Democrats in blue and Republicans in red. Hopefully the Republicans will be scared and flee.

    But yeah, good luck Obama/America.

    Plus, I think they use electronic voting in Estonia/other Scandinavian and Baltic countries, and they seem to do fine, but I dunno, it probably is easier to cheat the system that way.

  32. 32
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    I don’t care if I throw my vote away I will not vote for the murderer.

    “My faux-principles are more important to me than the lives, happiness, and well-being of the ~72% of Americans who are NOT straight white males.”

    Congratulations. Asshole. I’m sure you would have made an excellent politician.

  33. 33
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    AND I’m wearing a ‘Texans for Obama’ T-shirt.

    And they let you vote? I’m surprised, it’s usually a no no to be wearing any campaigning items when you vote.

  34. 34
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I wish I could vote; I think all of Europe wishes it could vote for Obama.

    Today on the radio (because there’s nothing else on it today anyway) they said that 91% of Germans would vote for Obama. And then they were talking to an American guy and the radio moderator was shoked, I tell you shocked to hear that his family in the USA would lock the doors if there was a black guy around that yes, race is a factor…

  35. 35
    blf

    And they let you vote? I’m surprised…

    It’s Texas. The votes were counted weeks ago. Today’s exercise is so they can implant microchips in anyone stoopid enough — read: easier to control — to think “free & fair” means something there. </snark>

    (Well, I hope it is snark and not even vaguely similar to the actual reality…)

  36. 36
    anteprepro

    “My faux-principles are more important to me than the lives, happiness, and well-being of the ~72% of Americans who are NOT straight white males.”

    What’s even more galling about the people who don’t want to vote for Obama because he is a “murderer” is that Romney will be worse . He will increase slowly decreasing military spending, he will continue wars that are winding down and he will risk starting brand new wars in the name of AMERICA. The people who refuse to dirty their hands by voting for a “murderer” pretend that they care about lives and killing, but they simply don’t. The only real choices are between a little murder and a lot of murder. The people who really cared about human life would choose a little murder over a lot. They would choose two slowly ending wars over sustaining those wars and starting a third. They would choose the current level of Evil Drone Strikes over Romney’s promises of “Yeah, I’ll have all that AND MORE”. But these fencesitters oppose “murder” so hard that they can’t get themselves to vote for the clearly superior option. So instead of helping for the option that costs less lives, they say “fuck it” and leave it up to a coin toss. They care so much about killing people that they are willing to risk letting even more people die in the name of Principle. So, really, they don’t particularly care about the “murder” at all.

  37. 37
    neXus

    Where can I get a Kraken party pin like that, PZ?

  38. 38
    fernando

    First, if i voted in the american presidentials i would vote in “the lesser of two evils”, Barak Obama.

    But i need to ask: why is some people saying that Obama is a murderer? Its because of the wars (started by Bush)or Guantanamo (also Bush fault)?

  39. 39
    betelgeux

    I’d like to thank Esteleth, who gave me an excellent idea that I took to the voting booth in comment 34 on this post. She pointed out the existence of the Working Families Party, a progressive, labor-backed third party that provides a viable alternative to the corpratist Rethugs and the spineless Dems.

    The WF usually endorses the same candidates as the Democratic Party, meaning that you are voting for candidates that actually have a decent shot at winning and at the same time strengthening a progressive third party that’s not controlled by corporate interests. There is a WF party in my state (CT), as well as in NY, MA, SC, VT, PA, DE, and OR. All of them appear pretty progressive, so I suggest voting for the Democratic candidates on the WF line if you live in those states.

    So, again, thanks Esteleth. You made my voting experience slightly less vomit-inducing by suggesting the WF party.

  40. 40
    dianne

    why is some people saying that Obama is a murderer?

    The drone attacks are the most obvious reason.

  41. 41
    Rutee Katreya

    But i need to ask: why is some people saying that Obama is a murderer? Its because of the wars (started by Bush)or Guantanamo (also Bush fault)?

    He’s been stepping up drone killings, and has the power to close Gitmo, but the former is sufficient.

  42. 42
    Ing

    @fernando

    Obama has issued some unilateral use of assassination/bombing drones that is being described as murder (especially because they are sometimes/often? programed to circle back around and kill anyone who might be aiding the wounded of the initial attack and were sent to attack funerals) but that is action done in the course of the “wars’ you mentioned, and while horrible it seems odd to judge that as particularly awful considering we previously bombed the shit out of national infrastructure and indiscriminately murdered people on a mass scale. If I had to choose the drones are a less awful way of indiscriminately murdering people.

  43. 43
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Probably the drones, fernando.

  44. 44
    Ing

    Although one does have to wonder why a drone is worse than a bomb strike (our previous MO)? Isn’t it basically the same principle behind the smart bomb just taken a step further?

  45. 45
    M can help you with that.

    I did not vote for Obama, though in a state with anything like a close vote I would have without many reservations. (Because a deeply disappointing and sometimes horrifying politician is still better than a deeply horrifying one.)

  46. 46
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Can you hear the drones, Fernando?

  47. 47
    anteprepro

    Although one does have to wonder why a drone is worse than a bomb strike (our previous MO)?

    It isn’t. The people who work themselves up into a lather on the subject, fooling themselves into thinking that drones are a profound and novel evil, seem to all come back to what they seem to think is heart of the matter: COWARDICE !1!!1! It is evil because there is no pilot risking getting shot down. As if that were likely anyway.

  48. 48
    Ing

    @anteprepro

    I suppose you could argue that such “cowardice” is itself responsible for not taking riskier/impractical methods that would have much lower collateral murder. If we really did think that a) these people were as important as our own citizens and b) said target needs to be killed for world security wouldn’t we try to employ snipers or assassins? Except it is harder to get them to the location, and they can be shot and captured.

  49. 49
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I did not vote for Obama, though in a state with anything like a close vote I would have without many reservations. (Because a deeply disappointing and sometimes horrifying politician is still better than a deeply horrifying one.)

    Popular vote actually means something. Having the electoral and a strong popular vote gives somewhat of a mandate to the winner. Having one without the other, not so much.

  50. 50
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Lynna @ 16:

    Among other (more serious) concerns, I’m wondering what the person means by “cartridge slot on the left that volunteers used to start your ballot.” In PA, only the voter is allowed to enter the initialization card into the slot to start the ballot. Poll workers cannot touch it except to initialize, give to, or take from a voter. Otherwise, it invalidates the card.

    Poll workers (who are not volunteers, but paid elections officials) cannot go behind the machine AT ALL unless there is an issue and the voter gives permission for you to step behind. And a judge of elections can’t step back there at all.

    I’m pissed that the polling official just said, “It’ll be okay.” First rule we learned in training was “Any problems with a ballot not recording properly, you cancel that ballot, move the voter to another machine, call the county office, and close the machine to voters until the issue is resolved or county gives you the go-ahead to shut it down.”

    Josh:
    I fucking hate the machines. Yes, tabulating paper ballots takes freakin’ forever (I’ve had elections where I didn’t report results until almost 4am) but they provide accurate results of voter intent AND they can catch errors in counting.

    In PA, the machines don’t give a receipt, so there is no way to know if your votes were recorded correctly even IF the names you chose lit up. And a recount consists of sticking the same (possibly defective) memory cards into second machine and having it tally the exact same results you got the last time.

  51. 51
    fernando

    Thanks for the explanation friends.

    Drones a are bad stuff; but i don`t understand how bombing people with planes isn`t murder and killing people with drones is murder.

    War is murdering, pure and simple, and alwasy bring back this question to me: “why someone that kills 100 men in battle is a hero, but if someones kills 1 people out of battle is a murderer”?

  52. 52
    anteprepro

    I suppose you could argue that such “cowardice” is itself responsible for not taking riskier/impractical methods that would have much lower collateral murder.

    Yes, but that threshold for cowardice and the consequent indiscriminate destruction is already crossed with regular ol’ school bombings. Something that you will never get the rabid “OMG DRONEZ!” folks to admit.

  53. 53
    Ing

    @anteprepro

    and it shows the disjointed thought process of war. Such technologies and policies make SEnSE in the old ideas of war. Minimize losses and maximize damage, any thing that creates more distance between you and the enemy is just smart, it’s what’s standing between you and subjugation.

    But in modern war we like to pretend we’re NOT engaging in conquest and clashes of civilizations. We want to pretend we’re there to help or stabilize…yet our weapons and policies are still ones of conquest and extermination. It’s fairly Kafkaesq. Take the LIbya situation, where the goal was to remove someone from power…but the method to do so was to bomb everything and put everyone at risk EXCEPT the one person whose death would complete the objective? Because assassination is wrong, so we have to engage in bombing?

  54. 54
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Voter intimidation shut down by a judge in Allegheny County, PA.

    An Allegheny County judge on Tuesday issued an order to halt electioneering outside a polling location in Homestead.

    County officials received a complaint shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday that Republicans outside a polling location on Maple Street in Homestead were stopping people outside the polls and asking for identification.

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    I fucking hate the machines. Yes, tabulating paper ballots takes freakin’ forever (I’ve had elections where I didn’t report results until almost 4am) but they provide accurate results of voter intent AND they can catch errors in counting.

    Plus it is easy for observers to check the counting process is being carried out correctly.

  56. 56
    Argle Bargle

    Esteleth #26

    My precinct uses paper ballots that you fill in circles on, and then a scantron reads it. And the paper ballot is set aside and saved. Easy-peasy and nearly idiot-proof.

    This is what we have as well. The last election cycle the mayor’s race was very close and there were two recounts. The paper ballots made the recounts easy.

  57. 57
    betelgeux

    Here in deep blue CT, I was lucky: Obama was actually the most conservative candidate I voted for. The Democratic candidates for US Senate, Congress, and state legislature in my area are all very progressive, which I was happy about. I can only imagine being a liberal in a state like, e.g., Indiana, where the two Senate candidates are an openly consrevative Democrat and a Tea Party Republican who beleives rape is a “gift from god”. Ugh. It’s a sad state of affairs in this country.

    My worst fear (other Romney being elected of course) is that the disgusting billionaire misogynist Rethug running for senate here in my state will win. She may not be as popular with the tea party as some GOP candidates in other states, but she’s just as repulsive. In fact, I’ve never hated a candidate with as much passion as I hate Linda McMahon. She made billions on the sick “entertainment” that is wrestling, and is now blowing millions of dollars on sickening ads and mailers. The idea of people like her and Romney winning the endorsement of a major poltical party is horrific.

  58. 58
    M can help you with that.

    Popular vote actually means something. Having the electoral and a strong popular vote gives somewhat of a mandate to the winner. Having one without the other, not so much.

    Mandate (or lack thereof) means nothing to the GOP. Not having one (due to losing voters in non-swing states to the left or center-left) might pull the Democrats back towards the center.

  59. 59
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Stopped by and voted on my way for the late morning commode duty. The voting place was busy, but the lines were short, and everything was working smoothly. In and out within 10 minutes.

  60. 60
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    In PA, the machines don’t give a receipt, so there is no way to know if your votes were recorded correctly even IF the names you chose lit up. And a recount consists of sticking the same (possibly defective) memory cards into second machine and having it tally the exact same results you got the last time.

    The machines here in PA are a joke. At my polling place, there were three machines. One was broken (the light for Obama wouldn’t light up – that’s not suspicious at ALL) and not being used. The two other machines were just… weird. And even if you pressed all the candidate buttons, but forgot to hit the ‘VOTE’ button (which was a full FOOT away from any of the candidate buttons) the vote was not counted. This happened twice while I was waiting in line to people in front of me.

    It’s so… shifty. Where’s the accountability? The machine could be recording whatever it wants and you wouldn’t know. Paper ballots may take longer to count but I would much rather know for certain who voted for what than have my results a day earlier.

    I also noticed some rather suspicion placement of candidates that looked to me to be deliberate. There were seven columns for different potential parties or candidates on the machine. The Republicans were on the far left, with the Dems in the column immediately to the right of them. Just to the right of the Dem column was the Green Party column, which of course in PA was just Jill Stein for prez.
    Here’s the suspicious part. The next three columns were empty. On the far right, however, was the Libertarian ticket, pushed up against the side.
    This seems to me (and maybe I’m just being paranoid, but if I were intending to do this, this is how I’d do it) to be deliberately laid out for liberals to see their obvious 3rd party candidate option right next to Obama, but for the Republicans to miss that Gary Johnson was on the ticket at all – or at the very least the latter. Why else would you have three empty columns between Gary Johnson and all the other candidates?

    I know it seems paranoid but I just know too much at this point just how effective subtle little tricks like that can be on the human mind.

  61. 61
    Ing

    Not having one (due to losing voters in non-swing states to the left or center-left) might pull the Democrats back towards the center.

    Don’t bet on it.

  62. 62
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    What gets me the most about the ZOMG OBAMA IS A MURDERER people is that they completely ignore that Romney would be worse. Or they have silly ideas like Stein winning.

  63. 63
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    The insanity I was talking about is happening right here, in this thread. We’re doing it. The idea that it’s even possible to have such fucked-up voting systems that we notice memory cards are switched from machine to machine should be so beyond the pale as to be unthinkable.

    1. It shouldn’t even be possible for there to be different voting systems (technological or administrative, or with respect to hours or early voting) from one state to the next, let alone one fucking county to the next.

    2. That we take this as unremarkable is a sign of how deeply sick (and likely irreparable) and tainted our system—and our views of it—are.

    3. People of every political persuasion should have been screaming NO to this a decade ago. This should have ended, permanently, these parochial shenanigans and led to the creation of a boring, manual, standardized vote-tallying system nationwide. No exceptions. No “local control.”

    But that didn’t happen, and it never will. We are so far down the goddamn rabbit hole there’s no going back. I’m sorry to be all screamy but I fucking loathe what this country has become. Can’t even bring myself to feel regret about it because I no longer think it’s possible to salvage anything that was good about the US experiment. We’re too dumb, too big, too complicated, and too ignorant. There’s no stopping the downward momentum.

    So, yeah, I vote, but only to help make what I’m increasingly sure are the dying gasps of the US a little less painful for people who’ve been abused badly already.

  64. 64
    anteprepro

    Drones a are bad stuff; but i don`t understand how bombing people with planes isn`t murder and killing people with drones is murder.

    War is murdering, pure and simple, and alwasy bring back this question to me: “why someone that kills 100 men in battle is a hero, but if someones kills 1 people out of battle is a murderer”?

    It’s because of double standards. Same reason why Evil Enemies killing innocent civilians is Terrorism and Good Guys killing innocent civilians is Collateral Damage. Same reason why we are still considered Good Guys despite killing innocent civilians, randomly imprisoning people, and torturing people. When they do bad and violent stuff, it is because they are pure evil. When we do bad and violent stuff, it is because it was necessary. Or it was a freak accident. Or it was some people behaving badly, totally unrepresentative of the rest of the Good Guys.

    We want to pretend we’re there to help or stabilize…yet our weapons and policies are still ones of conquest and extermination. It’s fairly Kafkaesq. Take the LIbya situation, where the goal was to remove someone from power…but the method to do so was to bomb everything and put everyone at risk EXCEPT the one person whose death would complete the objective? Because assassination is wrong, so we have to engage in bombing?

    That actually explains quite a bit. Probably an attempt to rely on the glorification of traditional warfare, and afraid to veer too far from it, lest they risk people’s rosy colored glasses not working properly if our mass killings no longer fit their schema for “war”. But the fact that we are afraid to resort to assassinations when we are fine with torture is slightly amusing. I assume it is because using assassination would seem like saying assassination is fair game now. And the people in charge of warfare probably don’t much care for assassination being on the table.

    n fact, I’ve never hated a candidate with as much passion as I hate Linda McMahon.

    Yeah, good luck with that race. I’m nearby so I see some of those ads. Bleck. Nate Silver says Murphy has a 96% chance of winning, if it makes the suspense less suspenseful for you.

  65. 65
    anteprepro

    3. People of every political persuasion should have been screaming NO to this a decade ago. This should have ended, permanently, these parochial shenanigans and led to the creation of a boring, manual, standardized vote-tallying system nationwide. No exceptions. No “local control.”

    But that didn’t happen, and it never will. We are so far down the goddamn rabbit hole there’s no going back. I’m sorry to be all screamy but I fucking loathe what this country has become. Can’t even bring myself to feel regret about it because I no longer think it’s possible to salvage anything that was good about the US experiment. We’re too dumb, too big, too complicated, and too ignorant. There’s no stopping the downward momentum.

    Agreed. Yet I bet that any attempts to do so would be met by the Republicans pointing at Democrats and shrieking “CONSPIRACY!”. The only way that we will have a chance of saving this country is if we can shut Republicans the fuck up for an extended period of time. And do it with our current fucking broken voting system. YAY!

  66. 66
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    GOD fucking DAMMIT! Am I the only person who didn’t get a sticker?

  67. 67
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    Oh, and I was pressed very hard for my ID. The conversation went something like this:

    Guy: “Do you have any identification?”

    Me: “Do I need to have identification?”

    Guy: “It’s best to provide identification when it’s requested.”

    Me: “That’s not what I asked. Do I need to provide ID to vote here?”

    Guy: “Well, you’ve never voted at this location before. It would be best if you had some ID.”

    Me: “But do I NEED to provide any ID?”

    Guy: “It’s not absolutely required, no.”

    He didn’t actually require it, and there was no threat of a provisional ballot. But “It’s best to provide identification when it’s requested” is probably one of the most grovellingly authoritarian-submissive thing anyone has said to me in some time.

  68. 68
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    GOD fucking DAMMIT! Am I the only person who didn’t get a sticker?

    I got no sticker. *sulk*

  69. 69
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Mandate (or lack thereof) means nothing to the GOP.

    It’s a lot better than not having the popular vote. That’s pure ammo for the GOP.

    Votes count.

  70. 70
    thegoodman

    House Greyjoy shall rise again. Long live The Kraken. “We do not sow”

  71. 71
    Ing

    No sticker but I did get a sucker.

  72. 72
    woodsong

    My precinct uses paper ballots that you fill in circles on, and then a scantron reads it. And the paper ballot is set aside and saved. Easy-peasy and nearly idiot-proof.

    Same here (central NY), and I also voted Working Families.

    Just to bring a touch of levity, remember the difference between Democracy and Feudalism:

    Democracy: It’s Your Vote That Counts!

    Feudalism: It’s Your Count That Votes!

  73. 73
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    No sticker but I did get a sucker.

    And I though we all were the suckers.

  74. 74
    Socio-gen, something something...

    Stevarious:

    Diebold machines make you hit “cast ballot” twice to be sure you’re really, really finished. (And, of course, it’s way way down on the bottom-right of the screen.) I had so many voters who couldn’t figure out why the card wasn’t popping out that I just included “and when you’re done selecting candidates, you have to hit ‘cast ballot’ twice” in my spiel about how the machine worked.

    That set-up is … weird. Usually the only columns that come up are the ones with candidates. I don’t think the ballot changed over the last three weeks (which is usually the explanation when an empty column appears — someone was taken off the ballot but it’s too close to the election to remove the entire column so they just remove the name.)

    Josh:

    The idea that it’s even possible to have such fucked-up voting systems that we notice memory cards are switched from machine to machine should be so beyond the pale as to be unthinkable.

    It’s not un-noticeable if you work elections. It is, however, invisible to regular voters.

    In my former county, this is how votes are “counted”: After the polls close, one machine in the precinct is set up as the tabulator and processes its memory card first. Then the other memory cards are taken from their machines and individually processed through the tabulator. All the cards are then labeled, sealed, and zip-tied into a bag and driven to the county office by the judge and minority inspector of elections, where the “tabulator” card is processed through the “central tabulator.” A second tabulator processes all the memory cards individually. (This is to “verify” the count. Which is a joke.)

    Do you see how many points in that process are vulnerable? And that’s just for the count, not the process of coding the machines or the memory cards, the potential for destructive hacks via initialization cards, etc. When I tell people how it “works,” they’re always shocked.

  75. 75
    cicely

    Done.
    -

  76. 76
    Paul S

    I can’t vote for Obama, so instead I’ll vote against mittens. Being from Chicago, I may vote against him several times.

  77. 77
    Olav

    I just hope the fanaticism of some of the pro-Obama people will subside after the election is over.

  78. 78
    a3kr0n

    anteprepro @19 – Yes, it is precious.

  79. 79
    Olav

    Pschoeckel, #76:

    I can’t vote for Obama, so instead I’ll vote against mittens.

    Now that sounds like a good plan.

  80. 80
    Matt Penfold

    I just hope the fanaticism of some of the pro-Obama people will subside after the election is over.

    What happens in your head is your irresponsibility, so if you want figments of your imagination to stop doing something, only you can make them.

  81. 81
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    No stickers or suckers for us mail-in voters in WA. I do admit while it is convenient and more accessible to vote by mail, I kind of miss that feeling of going to the polling place and punching the little holes in the ballot, and getting my sticker.

  82. 82
    Lynna, OM

    Republican Congressman Jeff Flake’s Senate campaign used robo calls to instruct Democratic voters to cast ballots at the wrong polling locations.
    YouTube link to news coverage in Arizona.

    If it makes any difference, Jeff Flake is a mormon.

  83. 83
    Rutee Katreya

    Just to bring a touch of levity, remember the difference between Democracy and Feudalism:

    One of them actually exists, and the other is an incredibly slapdash way of talking about the hundreds of governance systems Europe, Japan, and China had in the medieval era?

  84. 84
    Inaji

    Just got back from voting, got my sticker.

  85. 85
    Pteryxx

    For massive interestingness, check out the #VoterSuppression tag on Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23VoterSuppression&src=hash

  86. 86
    Akira MacKenzie

    Ing:

    Thank you, but I’d like to be able to vote for something other than a cynical political holding action in the improbable hope that this thoroughly racist, sexist, capialist, and religious pile of pig shit we call “the United States of America” decides to become properly civilized and we can be allowed to vote our consciences.

  87. 87
    Rutee Katreya

    Akira: Get involved in local campaigning well before the next election, and get people in at local government. That is basically step 1.

  88. 88
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Akira, check out who is running for your city council, school board, etc. These places are where people who run for higher offices get trained. Like them? Then work for them and urge them to run for the Statehouse, Congress, etc. Don’t like them? Find someone who you do like (maybe that person is you) and urge them to run for city council, school board, etc.

  89. 89
    anteprepro

    anteprepro @19 – Yes, it is precious.

    Fuck you too. That that is the only response you can muster, to myself or anyone else, is rather telling. You care so hard about “murder” that you aren’t going to actually vote against the person who is more likely to escalate the “murdering”. And you care so hard about your garbled conviction that you can only manage to offer up a half-joke in half-reply to one of the several people pointing out the bankruptcy of your position. You really don’t give a fuck, do you? “Murder” was just a post-hoc excuse to be a proud, chest-thumping apathist, the hipsters of politics.

  90. 90
    Amphiox

    Thank you, but I’d like to be able to vote for something other than a cynical political holding action in the improbable hope that this thoroughly racist, sexist, capialist, and religious pile of pig shit we call “the United States of America” decides to become properly civilized and we can be allowed to vote our consciences.

    Get involved, and stay involved. This election is only step one.

  91. 91
    Amphiox

    Yes, it is precious.

    No, it WAS precious.

    But by your inaction you have made it worthless.

    A vote, like a dollar bill, has no worth unless it is used.

  92. 92
    stubby

    It felt good to vote against the marriage and voter ID amendments in Minnesota. If the presidential polls are right I may actually watch fox news for the first time in several years just to see how boneheads like Dick Morris and Newt defend their predictions.

  93. 93
    Ichthyic

    Voting for the Krakens is not going to prevent you from being bitten in half and then swallowed.

    on the contrary! empowering teh Krakens and Cthulhu will help you and yours up in the line to be eaten first!

    it’s a blessing.

  94. 94
    Ichthyic

    We are so far down the goddamn rabbit hole there’s no going back.

    over here in Hobbitton, we co-opted the rabbit holes into new homes!

    :)

  95. 95
    Ichthyic

    Akira: Get involved in local campaigning well before the next election, and get people in at local government. That is basically step 1.

    yup.

    IMO, adopting a system that is more parliamentary would be a good step for the US, and would allow for other parties to share power, which would be a necessity for ending the 2-party-rapidly-becoming-one-party system that is slowly degrading the quality of life in the US.

    the first step though, is that those who want to change the system need to become involved in local systems of politics, one to show that your ideas can work, and two, because it’s the only way to change the top-heavy system you have now.

    you will simply not change the US system of government by voting for any president. Won’t happen, ever.

    hell, it really can’t.

  96. 96
    dean

    On a different course: voted this morning and overheard two quite different conversations.

    First: man and woman discussing voting and talking, with obvious love and pride, about their son/daughter who were driving home from college (Grand Valley, Ferris State) to vote today for the first time.

    Second: two men discussing voting: the topic: how, unless you were employed or owned a business, you should not be allowed to vote because “those people don’t contribute to society any other way”.

    GOD fucking DAMMIT! Am I the only person who didn’t get a sticker?

    I didn’t – never take one. But I did get a very pleasant and authentic smile and “thank you” from the jolly woman who took my envelope. It was a marvelous end to the morning’s process.

  97. 97
    ruthsimplicity

    Another Minnesota. Voted by mail because my precinct is too poor to have a polling place. Wonder what will happen if voter ID passes? Ick.

    I suppose horrible Michelle Bachmann will get in again.

    Voted for Obama as there is nothing else I can do. I did the Minnesota Nice and Voted No Twice. Voted for my cousin for school board. He will be great if elected.

  98. 98
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Done. I got a sticker but no sucker. Being in Virginia, I opted for the paper ballot. I didn’t see any instances of voter suppression, but it was 6 am. There was a brief moment when the poll worker couldn’t find me, but that was a spelling issue (a frequent problem for me).

  99. 99
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Daughter and I voted this morning. It was Girl’s first election. She was so happy — if she her smile had been any wider, the top of her head would have fallen off.

  100. 100
    Worldtraveller

    I like that we vote by mail here in WA. It lets me enjoy some nice sipping whiskey while I fill out the ballot. :D

  101. 101
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Ichthyic @ 95:

    IMO, adopting a system that is more parliamentary would be a good step for the US, and would allow for other parties to share power [...]

    No argument, although please do be aware (if you aren’t already) that the Canadian system is set up in such a way that the Office of the Prime Minister is significantly more powerful than the POTUS in terms of executive reach and effect. Which might be somewhat horrifying if someone like Romney had a Parliamentary majority government…

    Good article on the subject here for those interested.

  102. 102
    Menyambal

    My wife and I just voted, in an elementary-school gym/cafeteria here in the Missouri Ozarks. We had paper ballots, which had big square-ish ovals that had to be filled in completely with a fine-point pen—I’m glad I wasn’t much older while doing that. The ballots got fed into a machine reader, and there was no way to see if it had indeed read the ovals correctly.

    There were big signs outside saying that ID was required, but the fine print inside said a utility bill with name would serve as ID. I had rooted around and found my voter card, finally, so I was cool, but I feel some folks would get discouraged.

    We had to drive a ways, and went past two other polling places that we could have walked to. All voting places seem to be at schools, here, and the high-school students got the day off.

    All the signs outside our polling place were for Republicans.

    I voted straight Democrat, which wasn’t a single-oval option, but required filling in many ovals. It was interesting to vote for Claire McCaskill against Todd Akin, as it felt like the first time I had any influence in a nationally-known race. (There are Akin signs all over this town.)

    There was a proposal for a cigarette tax that would raise money for anti-tobacco education and for schools in general, supposedly. I decided to vote against that, as it targeted the kind of folks that were already paying taxes on alcohol, for lottery tickets, and possibly giving to their churches.

    No lines to speak of, for us, and friendly workers. It was fun to participate in our democracy. Plus I got an “I voted” sticker.

  103. 103
    Ichthyic

    Which might be somewhat horrifying if someone like Romney had a Parliamentary majority government…

    true that.

    we’re trying to fix that problem here in NZ by making it so that key parliamentary electorates don’t get to automatically have supporting party members ride in on their coat-tails.

    that way, you still have to vote on each representative, while parties can still form coalitions after election.

    I’d also stress that while far from a perfect, or even a better, system than the current US one is, it would allow for independent party participation to become easier in the US, and that’s really the only reason I was thinking it might help.

    could be I’m just using monkey wrench approach.

  104. 104
    sumdum

    @Stevarious: That guy insisting on asking you for your ID, it just makes me wonder if anyone got intimidated and turned away, mistakenly believing they needed an ID to vote. I don’t know if that’s electioneering, but it gives me a funny feeling.

  105. 105
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    There was a proposal for a cigarette tax that would raise money for anti-tobacco education and for schools in general, supposedly. I decided to vote against that, as it targeted the kind of folks that were already paying taxes on alcohol, for lottery tickets, and possibly giving to their churches.

    From the bottom of my former smoker’s heart, thank you. And thank you for reporting it publicly. Cigarette taxes are cruelly regressive, they have no more power to reduce smoking, and the money is appropriated for the general fund anyway. Always. It’s appalling how many right-thinking “liberal” policy makers say they’re trying to “help” smokers with a straight face. Yeah. While you steal their already limited income and tell them it’s for their own good.

  106. 106
    Ichthyic

    It’s appalling how many right-thinking “liberal” policy makers say they’re trying to “help” smokers with a straight face.

    rationalizations don’t just happen on the right of the spectrum… though they do tend to be a bit more common there.

    what with reality having a well known liberal bias and all.

    ;)

  107. 107
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    I like that we vote by mail here in WA. It lets me enjoy some nice sipping whiskey while I fill out the ballot. :D

    Misterc and I do it together.

    Him: “Do you wanna do it in the kitchen?”

    Me: “I dunno, we did it in the kitchen last time. Maybe we should just do it standing up in the bedroom.”

    Our 13-year-old-son: *horror*

  108. 108
    Menyambal

    While you steal their already limited income and tell them it’s for their own good.

    Yeah, while my wife and I were discussing the smokers-tax issue, we happened to drive past an old man on a beat-up bicycle. He looked scruffy, poor, possibly homeless, or at least riding the bike for lack of a car. I looked over my shoulder, and sure enough he had a cigarette going. I might not have enough money to help that poor bugger, but I am not going to jack up the price on something he needs so badly.

    My wife works as counselor for a school, and would perhaps benefit from a tax on tobacco. She said that tobacco is the thing that many of the less-fortunate use to kill their hunger and their pain.

    I know some kids who smoke, and I’d kick their asses for it, if I wasn’t trying to respect their choices. But I’d never expect them to pay money for me to lecture them.

  109. 109
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Quietly wipes hefewiezen off my screen after @107.

  110. 110
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    If anyone’s desperate for a sticker, I have Moshi Monsters.

    If you want Katsuma, Iggy, or Poppet, though, it’s not gonna happen.

  111. 111
    Owen

    Well, I did my duty too – first time since I got naturalized a couple of months ago. Punched (well, scantronned) a straight Working Families ticket. Being in NY, I was tempted to write in something sarcastic, but I figured I should try to beef up the popular vote totals.
    And now I’m gnawing my fingers to stumps and obsessively refreshing the 538 liveblog…

  112. 112
    betelgeux

    Excellent–Scumbag McMahon loses to fairly progressive Murphy here in CT. I can’t wait to hear her concession speech. Another $50 million down the drain!

  113. 113
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    All-Around Charming Fellow Bill O’Reilly complains about how the white vote was overwhelmed by the non-white vote and therefore this spells the end of ‘Traditional America’.

    Which I presume is a dogwhistle for “white people who are entitled to their privilege”.

  114. 114
    Jadehawk

    google sez Heitcamp currently has 52% of the vote. Unfortunately, I don’t that will last *sigh*

    all other races in this state are meaningless and were never going to go blue.

  115. 115
    betelgeux

    The ultraplutocrat has lost. The semiplutocrat has won. Despite the overall awful choice Americans faced, I’m considering this a victory for the people. We won’t have the Magic Millionaire Mormon as Prez. That’s good news for the middle class.

    WI’s Tammy Baldwin has become America’s first openly gay senator, and the wonderful consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren has won in MA. The GOP should be worrying about losing some senate seats at this point.

  116. 116
    Ichthyic

    All-Around Charming Fellow Bill O’Reilly complains about how the white vote was overwhelmed by the non-white vote and therefore this spells the end of ‘Traditional America’.

    did he also say that the male vote was overwhelmed by non-male vote?

    just curious.

  117. 117
    stubby

    The voter ID and marriage amendment votes in Minnesota are close. They both have 4-5% blank votes which could very well be the difference.

  118. 118
    Akira MacKenzie

    Sadly, there are a quite a few things that would keep me from being elected to any position:

    1. Money. I kind of living paycheck to paycheck right now. Until political campaigns are publicly financed (yeah, right…), I think public running for office is something I can’t afford

    2. Job. Sadly, I need to work at my crappy, dead-end, pays-just-above-minimum-wage job to stay ahead of my bills. I don’t think I’ve got enough vacation time to go on the campaign trail.

    3. Mental health. I’m a rapid-cycling, bi-polar with anxiety issues, possible ADHD, and OCD tendencies. I also have this “seizure” thing (it’s the only word I can use to describe it) were I shake, make odd vocalizations, wring my hands or rub my face or head. These spells come on usually when I’m feelings angry or excited; one second I’m reading an article online that I disagree with, the next thing I know I’m squealing and twisting one of my wrists, my face is beet red while my heart is pounding, and whatever emotion I was feeling is now cranked up to 11. I’ve lost jobs because of this “tick.” You can imagine that wouldn’t play well with the voters.

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