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Things that irritated me about voting THIS time...

Voting is always a strange experience. For months there's all this weird hype about the General Election, the importance of voting, blah blah blah...and so you feel like the moment you walk into the polling place the skies are going to open up and the Hand of God is going to come down and give you a ballot and a golden quill pen as a heavenly light beam shines down upon you...

Wrong.

You pretty much just walk into the polling place; usually a school or other type institution. People greet you. They hand you a piece of paper or direct you to a voting machine. And, if you're like me and you vote a straight ticket, voting is a pretty quick and oddly unsatisfying process. You fill in one single dot or press one single button. And...that's it. No fanfare. No marching band waiting for you outside the door. No phone call from your candidate. All you get is a paltry little sticker and the sense of pride (hope, really) that you didn't do anything wrong and that your vote will actually count.

But I digress... Here's what really irritated me about voting in Indiana:

1.) There was an Eagle symbol next to the Republican Party box and a Rooster next to the Democratic Party box. Are "they" trying to exert some sort of covert influence on the undecided voter? Indiana is a pretty conservative state and I can't help but taste a little more than a tincture of conservative influence in the way they use the National Bird as the symbol for the Republican party. Last I checked it was Elephants vs. Donkeys...which is curious enough to begin with. But since when is the Democratic party associated with Roosters? Smells fishy to me. In my admittedly paranoid, persecuted mind, it seems like they are saying: "The Republicans are America. The Democrats are cocksure, squawking birds whose only function is to make noise," and I don't like it. This may seem like a small thing, but when it comes to something so sensitive as the right of people to vote and be free from any undue influence, you've got to watch little things like this.

2.) The paper ballot. Come on. What century are we in? We do goddam EVERYTHING on computers nowadays, including civic duties like paying taxes, renewing driver's licenses, etc. I just felt a little queasy inserting my ballot into this little blue box with a bunch of other ballots, with some woman (probably a Republican) watching over the box. I was like, "Um...you guys are...gonna count that, right? Er..." Also, I couldn't help but feel this odd feeling like I'd done something wrong on the ballot, not filled-out some crucial piece of information, some dot or box, that would make my ballot invalid. I wanted some clarification, some confirmation that I did everything properly. The fewer people between my vote and whomever counts it, the better. And the fewer opportunities I (and other people) have to screw up, the better. Get rid of the paper ballot.

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