Doing My Civic Duty….Sorta’

I apparently voted in the 1948 election this morning. Lord, what a primitive set-up they have in somerville. It takes place a thousand miles away in a low income senior citizen housing complex with limited parking (real smart considering it’s nowhere near any bus or subway lines). You enter the building, give your address and name, grab a ballot and go to a counter (they weren’t really booths, though there were pseudo-partitions).

The ballot arrived in a cardboard sleeve with a window cut through it. Stupidly, I was thinking that the window was there so you could slide the ballot up and down inside it so that just the cateogry you’re voting on appears. Nope. The window serves no purpose. Nor does the pocket, actually. You remove the ballot from the pocket, fill it out, slide it back into the pocket, walk to the ballot drop off place, remove it from the pocket, hand the pocket to a cop, and slide the ballot into the ballot box. Now, what exactly is the purpose of the pocket? Privacy? If that’s their concern, don’t you think they’d provide voting “booths” instead of a communal counter with practically no partitions?

And the ballots were hilarious. The front side had the presidency choice on it. And the back side had a list of people to vote for to represent my “ward” in Somerville. You had to pick 33 people.


And I didn’t know a single name on there. I never counted the number of candidates running, but it looked like it could have only been about 33 people. I left it completely blank. I know Somerville is the most densely populated city in Masschusetts, but do we really need to vote for 33 people to represent my ward? It’s not THAT dense.


  1. Comment by mindy on February 5, 2008 5:43 pm

    I had to vote for “no more than 35” but fortunately “all of the above” was an option.

  2. Comment by snarl on February 5, 2008 6:13 pm

    What’s up with that?

  3. Comment by mindy on February 6, 2008 10:07 am

    For me it was Town Meeting reps, as Arlington still uses that system. I admit, though, that I changed my vote for my state rep at the last minute, as one of the candidates was exiting the voting place as I was entering and he called me “ma’am” so I voted for the other dude.

  4. Comment by Fred on February 6, 2008 1:23 pm

    Well, one thing in favor of those ‘old fashioned’ ballots – they’re protecting your rights and a clean election: the alternative is bloody Diebold machines…

    As noted, I’m thankful every time I get an optical-scan ballot in my hand!

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