Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The pamphlet

Yesterday was election day in the US, so off we went to exercise our right at the local township office. As is usual, members of the Democratic and Republican parties were gathered by the entrance, canvassing people as they made their way inside.

A chap from the Democratic Party called us over and asked whether we'd like to review the ballot sheet which they'd blown up and pinned to a presentation board, which we did. A question included was whether we wanted the allow the county to raise money to buy farmland and keep it out of the hands of developers, and there were six or eight justices of the Pennsylvania supreme court seeking re-appointment--though it was wholly unclear which was Democrat and which Republican as is usual when local politics are involved.

As we were reviewing the board, the chap from the Republican Party came over, thrust pamphlets into our hands, and said, "You'd better read our positions as well, seeing as they're getting you to read their propaganda."

I thought he was joking, but his purple cheeks and tight lips suggested otherwise.

"Hey! Hey!, the guy from the Democratic party said. "That's not on. All I was doing was showing them the layout of the ballot. I didn't call them over to show them any literature from my party."

The Republican chap looked at the easel. "Oh, you put a ballot up, did you? That's alright then. Sorry. But guys, you should read what I gave you before you vote anyway."

Inside was more sedate and we chatted with the obligatory Republican and Democratic party representatives and the impartial overseer--who learned I was from Ireland and rabbited on about her Scottish roots--as we were signed in. It was the second time I used the new electronic voting machines, which are very satisfactory though I'm glad our voting district maintains a printout in the event of a challenge or malfunction.

All in all, I've a feeling next year's Presidential election is going to be a lot of fun. A lot of fun.

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