Today really made me feel like a native New Yorker. It was my first time voting since I moved here almost 2 years ago. As dyspeptic as this election season has made me feel, and as disappointed as I have been in the President and the Senate (but not very disappointed in the House btw; I think they have generally kicked ass by comparison), it is one’s duty to vote, if only to fight off the worse option. Every jurisdiction in this country has a slightly different process for voting I have noticed. One would think that these rules should be harmonized across the country, at least in elections where there is a federal component. NYC had a couple of oddities that I noticed this morning while voting. For one, there were a few places on the ballot where the same candidate was listed twice in the choices for the same seat. When I asked about this, I was told it was because they were representing more than one party. This seems wildly anti-democratic to me. A fairer solution would be to list under that candidate all the parties they are representing. In theory, I could register 5 new parties and be the representative for all of them, assuring my name in the list for the same seat 5 times. This is ridiculous. The other oddity had to do with finishing my vote. I filled in the scantron with a black pen, then took it over to a place to feed it into a reader. It read in my vote, but didn’t verify my choices or give me any sort of receipt. Every other place I have voted I was at least given a receipt that verified that I had voted. It would seem fairly easy to be disenfranchised without it, but maybe not.
In any event, no matter how disheartened you may feel about our political process, please do go out to vote. At the very least it will give you the right to complain.