By the People: thoughtful voting

I know I’ve been silly about candidates and the voting process lately. My Evangelical campaign to back Vermin Supreme fell as flat as expected. But seriously folks, I do care about the election process. In years past I’ve worked as an election judge just walking distance from my home. I’m manning the home front so’s my buddy Jon can take Tuesday off of P12 classes to do it this week. I want to recommend a resource for voters. I just checked out the PBS film “By the People: Democracy in the Wild,” directed by Malindi Fickle from the library. Also check out PBS’s elections site.

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Ok, so I watched “By the People” last night. I wonder whether anyone who hasn’t been an election judge or poll worker can really relate to it. It plants you right in the chaos of setting up a local election. We follow one woman mainly, through her days leading up to the election, and then all day during the election. Those who’ve served as a judge know her office as “Election central.” If you’ve ever wondered where your ballots and the polls and the ballot machine come from, this movie tells you! We’re left with the immensity of the polling process, and the filmmaker thrusts laziness of the average voter on us at the end. Does this seem fair? Well, I think that as Americans we’re made to feel that everything the government gives us should be for free. I think therein lies the problem. We feel we’re owed a good candidate and that somehow not voting is our way of getting back. Well, that’s just silly. That feeling of powerlessness may actually just be the same one we feel when we haven’t exercised in a while. Whose fault is it that I’m flabby? My own! If you don’t like the way your county does elections, get down there and volunteer!

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