Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Dooper Political Departure

(image shamelessly stolen from another blog, but I laughed at the warning sign they added to the original image......)

I love every part of voting. None of this mail-in ballot stuff. I like the idiocyncrasies; for instance, two precincts report to the church in the middle of The Circles (my neighborhood). Both precincts vote in the same room, but the room is set up as two mirror-image stations. If you go to the wrong one, they make you leave and enter through the OTHER door 50 feet away, into your proper precinct. I like that they give you a sticker to wear around all day proclaiming to the world that you voted. The only thing that could make it better is if they brought back the old voting machines that have the switches and the big lever to pull at the end. Or stickers like the ones they give out at the blood bank: “Kiss me, I voted.”

The other fun part is that this will be the 3rd state in which I’ve voted for president, and each state has an entirely different approach to the primary. Minnesota does it Caucus-style, Washington has both a caucus AND a presidential primary (woah!), and California is all primary.

And of course, for each of these states, there are small differences in how each party approaches the primary. For WA, the parties weight the portion of delegates picked from each event differently: dems delegates are based entirely on the caucus results, while the repubs distribute the delegate votes between the caucus and the primary. And WA residents are pretty feisty about being able to vote for which ever party they want to, regardless of their official affiliation. Needless to say, the parties are not fans, and this issue is currently under debate. In Cali, folks with Independent, Democratic or no party affiliation can vote in either the Independent or Democratic primary but to vote for the Republican primary, you have to be a registered Republican. There was an interesting snippet on NPR the other evening about the rationales behind these stances.

Of course, all of these options exist because there are so many opinions on what is the fairest, most inclusive, most accurate approach. But, as far as personal enjoyment goes, I have to go with the caucus. If you’ve never participated in one, I highly recommend considering that when you make your next out-of-state move.

So here’s wishing you all happy electing, whatever the flavor. Go get ‘em!

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