Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I Thought The Primary Was When Candidates Were Endorsed?

The primary election in Ohio was extended.

Don't get me started on that.

OK, I will get started on that.  I was supposed to work as a pollworker, you know doing my democratic duty and getting a bit of dosh.  It's a brutal day.  I work from 6 in the morning until 8 at night or something.  Plus I have to set up the night before and go to a training session a week before.  As if that isn't bad enough, this year, the governor was panicking about COVID-19 and decided at the last minute to cancel the election.  So the day before the election was this back and forth as public officials figured out what they were going to do.  Keep in mind, I have to go to bed early, so I can get up in the middle of the night to get ready to work the polls.  At first, it seemed a done deal the election was going to be postponed.  I was told by the Board Of Elections that the evening setup was canceled.  Then, I saw on the tv news that a judge had struck down the governor's order.  At that point, I headed to bed.  I was brushing my teeth, when the Board Of Elections called to say I had to report at 5 a.m. now, even earlier than usual (presumably because we still had to set things up).  I think I woke up somewhere between 3 and 4 a.m., got ready, and headed over to the polling place.

Of course, no one was there.  At that point, I remembered that the robocall from the Board said something about calling them in the morning.  So I called, and, of course, found out that the politicians had figured out some other way of postponing the election (they declared in-person voting to be a public health threat or something).

Great!  I wish they had told me that before I had to set my alarm for the wee hours of the morning.  No one is even entirely sure this is all legal, but one can't turn back time, so now they decided the election will be held by absentee ballot only, which sucks because Ohio has this goofy system of voter registration to prevent basically nonexistent voter fraud (well, it exists in the minds of Republican politicians who would never get elected anywhere if most people voted, but that's not the same thing as reality).  I had to request a ballot, filling out a form asking for my ID, and then buy a stamp to mail it.  Then, I get the ballot (fortunately, the return is postagepaid) and I have to again fill in my ID information.  Why do I need to fill in the same info twice?  Just put it on the ballot bit if one is worried about that.  That would suffice to guard against the almost nonexistent voter fraud.  Clearly, the system is designed to frustrate people enough that they won't vote, and though I am not a fan of encouraging stupid people to vote (generally, they vote stupidly), neither am I a fan of making voting extra-difficult just to be a creep.

Anyway, enough digression, so I receive this postcard in the mail today because the election is being extended.  The postcard tries to tell me which Democrats to vote for (currently, I am a registered Democrat because it is basically one-party rule where I live locally, so if I want more of a say in local elections I need to officially be a Democrat--some of the local Democrats are about as creepy though as most of the state and national Republicans are).

Pardon me, I thought the primary election was what endorsed Democrats.  I don't know what this thing is, other than party bosses trying to steer wins to favored candidates.  I'll try to contact the state party who sent it out though and see what they say, just to be fair.  If they respond, I'll post about this again.

Since I seem to be channeling the ghost of Andy Rooney anyway here and complaining, I might as well note the absurdity of taxpayers paying for partisan primary elections in the first place.  I suppose the argument would be that this guarantees fair elections, but the parties are essentially private institutions.  On this ballot, there was only one issue, which could have waited until the general election.  It looks more like the parties conspired together to pass on the costs of their primary elections to the general public, who should only be concerned that the general election is fair; let the parties figure out their internal dynamics on their own dime.

The other creepy thing on this card is how many races are uncontested.  Now, of course, there will be candidates from other parties in the general election for these positions, but it's still sad that such a lack of choice exists in a democracy.  I have written about this before and concluded that it was not a good idea.  In any case, it goes a long way to explain why our officials make such dumb decisions and waste so much tax money.

I would humbly suggest that the Ohio Democratic Party stop this practice of trying to sway the primary voters and just let the primary voters decide whom to endorse, but I suspect that's a waste of time (though I have time to waste , so I may do it anyway).  After all, this is a state party that regularly gets their clocks cleaned by neaderthallike Republican candidates, so that it's basically one party rule statewide, so clearly this is a group that makes dumb decisions to begin with.

But there's always hope.


For some other folks who make questionable decisions, please read my latest novel.

1 comment:

  1. I reached out yesterday. It's been more than 24 hours and no response. I guess the Clinton War Room Rapid Response days are over . . . if I ever do hear from them, I'll let you know.


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