ELECTION DAZE

April 7, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Posted in Political | Leave a comment

 ELECTION DAZE
  I worked the election as a judge the other day.  How was it?  Slow.  How slow?  Well, I had time to read two novels and write all this as well.
  My conspiracy friend isn’t registered to vote and doesn’t want to vote because he doesn’t trust the process, or the system, or the government, or anything.  Like all liberal nut jobs, he “feels” (not “thinks” and definitely not “knows”—just “feels”) that most people are like him:  liberals.  When you have a set of whacked-out beliefs, it’s more comforting to know that other psychotics share them.  This is commonly demonstrated with Muslim extremists who want the world to be converted to Islam.  If even one person doesn’t believe, it makes you question why.  That’s why it’s better to kill them all if they won’t convert.  Do you see how logical this is?
  Therefore, when a liberal or a Democrat gets elected–why, that is an obvious example of the process working.
  However…if a conservative or a Republican wins an election, it is obviously fixed.  There’s just no way that there are enough Republicans to outnumber Democrats, because there can’t be that many evil people in the world.  Can there?
  In 2000, in the hotly contested, mostly dubious and obviously illegal “election” that selected GW Bush, all the voting machines used in Florida were made by Halliburton, programmed by ENRON, and operated by Blackwater.  And now, with even more electronic voting where there is no paper trail and no proof, it is obvious that the fix is in.
  I am an election judge, and I get to see first hand the checks and balances, security, and safety measures that are in place.  Let me explain what I know:
 
  First of all, I live in St Louis County, and it is the third—number 3—most complex voting and election system in the world.  Not the country—the world.  Why is that?  Often an election can cover many issues and many levels of government.  On any given ballot, you might vote for a president, senator, congressman, state senator, state representative, a county official, a city alderman, and a school district board member.
  Other than the president and the US senator, all of these positions are specific to their district, and they all have different borders.  In St Louis County, there are over 400 polling places, and these don’t seem to follow any of the other borders although many are closely aligned with elementary school lines.
  In 2008 at the polling place I worked, we had four different ballot styles.  Meaning, depending on where you lived even within that district, you might get a different ballot.  Two people who live right across the street from each other might get different ballots.  Although they would have the same federal issues and likely the same for their state choices, they might have different city alderman.  It’s a complicated affair. 
  Now, about the process itself:  Several days in advance of the election, all the polling equipment is delivered to the polling place.  Everything is there, and it is locked and sealed.  “Sealed” means there are numbered and cataloged plastic seals in the locks that have to be broken and removed to open.  If it is broken before we get to it, that’s a problem, and that’s a call to the election board.  Whenever we open a seal, we have to sign off on it.
  All of the equipment—and imagine what an undertaking it is:  this is equipment for 400 plus polling places—is prepared, checked, rechecked, verified, and sealed by a bipartisan team:  An equal number of Democrats and Republicans.  And EVERYTHING is done that way.
  Now, you might wonder why it is just the two major parties and none of the other lesser parties, or the scrappy little unknown ones.  Is that fair?  Well, if you put the two biggest cheaters together and make them work with each other, they’re going to watch each other and keep each other honest.  Besides, the communist party doesn’t want an election, the anarchist party doesn’t believe in them, and the hemp party got high and forgot that the election was today.  I call myself a Republican for this sense because I more closely align with them, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I’m a Libertarian.
  As I said, the equipment is delivered and left untouched and covered.  On the morning of the election we show up, we election judges.  We band of merry—
  We open the case and remove all the contents:  various color coded canvas bags for specific purposes.  We open the seals, and record the seal numbers on the seal verification sheets, and they have to match.  We match serial numbers on the memory cards and FEB keys for the touch screen.  Serial numbers on packets of votes for the opti-scan.  Serial numbers on the keys.  And all of this is done in a serious, bipartisan manner, to make sure there has been no tampering.
  While we do all the checking, we also set up the equipment.  The janitorial staff at the school has already set up the tables and chairs and cleared the room for us.  Luckily we are in an elementary school library, so the chairs are the perfect size to cripple my knees, thigh, and hips after sitting in them for 13 hours straight.
  Now comes the actual voting.  People come in, grab a ballot, and vote.  Right?
  Oh, there’s much more to it than that.  People come in, and first they show some form of ID.  A numbered voter ticket is filled out that they sign and a member of each party initials.  The judge asks what type of ballot they prefer:  the evil touch screen computer thing with no proof of what choices you made except for the printout, or the good ol’ fashioned opti-scan, in use since Colonial times.  (This is how the Constitution was ratified:  opti-scan.  The Founding Fathers used a number two pencil and filled in the oval on the ballot, and then it was fed into the opti-scan reader.  It was invented by Ben Franklin.  True story.).  Most people picked the touch screen.  Then a judge looks up their name in the book of registered voters.  The voter signs on the line, and also initials next to his address, verifying that it is correct.  A rep from each party also initials in the book.  If there is more than one ballot style because of districting, the ballot style will be listed in the book next to their name, and this will be written on the voter ticket.
  Finally, the voter slides down to the end of the table, and the assistant supervisors take the voter ticket, select the appropriate ballot for the voter, and usher them to the appropriate voter-booth-thing and instruct them in the technical operation, if necessary.
  If there is a problem—the voter is not registered, or not showing up as registered, or wrong address, or some other issue—the voter goes to the supervisor table where there is a rep from each party there to help them out: an expert in the voting process.
  Lord help them, that would be me.
  I don’t do much under normal circumstances.  Occasionally we make a call to the election headquarters.  We have voter affidavits that we use for some circumstances, and a Palm pilot that has the up to date listing of all the voters in the county and where they are supposed to vote.  In the most common situation, we send them to another polling facility.
  At the end of the night, we count.  The opti-scan votes must equal the number of opti-scan voter tickets, and the touch screen number on the touch screen screens is verified and must equal the number of touch screen voter tickets, and the total of those two must equal the number of signatures in the book plus the number of affidavits.  All of this is counted twice, once each by—you guessed it—a rep from each party.
  So—
  The opti-scan votes are sealed, and the number is recorded and signed for.  The unused ballots are counted and verified. 
  The touch screens are closed with the electronic key (FEB), and the FEBs are sealed and the seal number is recorded.  The printout from the touch screens is sealed and recorded, as are the memory cards from them.
  Everything is put away according to the lists and all of this is done by people from both parties.  The green canvas bag, the orange canvas bag, and the orange canvas pouch are sealed, and these are delivered to a drop point by the two supervisors riding together in one car.  I imagine there are a dozen or so drop points around the St Louis County area.  The drops I’ve been to have had several vehicles with several people from both parties, with clipboards, and St Louis County Police are in attendance for security and traffic control.
  Every effort is made every step of the way to eliminate the opportunity for vote tampering.  So much so that I’m sure there are a few steps I left out.  Now what happens to the ballots after they leave my possession?  I’m not really sure, but based on the experience of the structure at my level, I’m confident that the security and precautions are just as rigorous, if not more so.
  I forgot to mention—because there weren’t any this time, but I saw them in 2008—that there are provisions in the election rules for “observers.”  The major parties can select people to be observers in the process at the polls; to be sure that everyone is treated fairly and given every opportunity to vote.
  Of course, the only observers I’ve ever seen are from the Democratic Party because…since they are lying, sleazy, deceitful sons of bitches that can’t be trusted, they don’t trust the fair and impartial election process to give them the advantage they deserve.  They were on a fishing expedition, I’m sure, looking—waiting—for the change to call someone out (and hopefully a Republican, for their sake) for treating a voter in a racially insensitive manner.
 
  Now this is not to say that all elections are fair and honest, moral and ethical.  Chavez winning 100% of the vote in his country comes to mind, for one.  It reminds me of that Wizard of Id cartoon:  the guy steps into the voting booth, and there are two levers.  One is marked “The King,” and the other one is marked, “The Other Guy.”  The man in the booth pulls the lever marked “The Other Guy,” and a trapdoor opens up underneath him, dropping him into the dungeon.  One hundred percent, right.
  And never mind the whole 2000 election thing.  Just—never mind.  Listen, libtards:  you don’t understand enough about the complex legal process involved so you just call it “illegal” and “fixed.”  I understand more of it than you do, but not enough to explain it to you patiently without slapping the silly shit out of you while I do it.
  (By the way—the whole “selected, not elected” thing that you cling to was pretty much rendered moot when GW beat Kerry in 2004.  And nothing was better than the crestfallen face of Dan Rather when he had to announce the winner.  It was like he was reporting on a puppy assassination.  Priceless.)
  Meanwhile, the media didn’t even bat an eye about the Senate race in Minnesota between Franken and Coleman.  How come EVERY TIME the votes were recounted, there were more and more votes for Franken, but no change—none added, none lost—for Coleman?  How is that possible?
  And let’s not forget all the completely outrageous stunts pulled by ACORN.  They were going to win in 2008 no matter what, and they proved it.  All the illegal voter registration and duplication, and people who admitted to voting more than once with no shame, like they were supposed to.  Unconscionable.  There are too many stories about illegal and unethical stories about ACORN to list them all.
  Again, everything they accused the Republican party of doing, they were going to do.  And more.  But that is all about politics, not the election.  This is about the election.
 
  In conclusion—and back to my original theme:  whacked-out, conspiracy-believing, tin-foil-hat-wearing, Alex Jones fan club members get a hold of a small amount of distorted misinformation and build a web of intricate and ultimately incorrect theories around it.
  If they never leave the basement or go outside, how can they know with any certainty anything about the real world?  A fish in an aquarium can theorize and guess and fantasize about the world on the other side of the glass…but they’re never going to know the truth until they experience it for themselves.  And until then, they’ll never believe and never be capable of understanding that world outside the glass:
  The one where you don’t breathe water.  The one where you don’t float in the air.  The world of breathing air is as alien to fish as the real world is to conspiracy nuts.

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