For the first time we're voting with optical scan ballots instead of punch cards in my district, and while I'm happy that there seems to be much less chance for error with this system, I found the experience terribly unsatisfying. After enduring weeks of building election tension, the act of voting usually feels like a final, orgasmic release. Using the punch card machines has always brought that point home. So to speak.
Ramming that hard metal pointer through the yielding cardstock flesh of the virgin ballot. Feeling the first chad give way beneath the insistent thrust of my rigid stylus. Then, plunging that glistening tool of suffrage in again and again until, at last, my voice cries out in the electric thrall of political climax as I spew forth my votes into the dark recesses of the ballot box! Yes! Oh, yes!
And, finally, smacking that little blue "I Voted" sticker onto my chest like an affectionate parting slap on democracy's ass before withdrawing from the polling place.
Oh yeah, I rocked your vote, bitch. Rocked it good.
By contrast, filling in the little optical scan circles felt sadly impotent. Sort of like I'm not man enough to reach the back, so I had to compensate by banging the hell out of the sides. I still got the job done, make no mistake of that. I just have a feeling San Diego County won't be calling her girlfriends Orange and Los Angeles tomorrow to gossip about what a great voter I am.
Leaving the polling place, I glanced down at the little blue pill-shaped sticker in my hand. It looked like a subliminal ad for Viagra. Dejected, I rubbed the pathetic little thing gently onto my shirt. My nipple didn't even perk up.
I'm acutely aware that impotency is an all-too-familiar feeling for conservative voters in California. After all, more utterly meaningless Presidential votes are cast here than in any other state. I just wish the new ballots didn't seem to be pointing at my flaccid political muscle and laughing.
I suppose I can at least be happy that we didn't use the paper-trailless touch screen systems. It's bad enough to know you have no chance of impregnating the motherland with your electoral seed. It's much worse if you can't even tell whether any came out.
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