Voting in the Big Q
As I blogged about earlier, Tuesday was election day in the Mighty Q’town. It was an off-year election, so I didn’t expect to see many people out and about at the polls. But I have to say I was really let down by the turnout.
Not of the total ABQ population.
Of registered voters.
That’s depressing. Even for Albuquerque. That means that around 27 000 people took the time out of their day to go and vote.
And it’s not like there were any lines to hold people up.
It felt like I walked into one of those “Left Behind” right-wing books, especially since I was at a church at the time. (I never changed my voter registration when I moved in with my fiancee, so I had to drive across town to a church up next to Albuquerque Academy – the posh private school in ABQ – to go vote.) So there was the creepy alone-in-a-church feeling. I expected a zombie or something frightening like that (a preacher maybe…) to jump out at me.
At first I figured there were probably a lot more people inside the church voting. Maybe there were cars on the other side of the building I had missed when I parked.
Alas, it was not to be.
Empty. Desolate. I felt like I was in a scene from The Terminator where the remnants of humanity were hiding out from the machines.
I picked up my ballot, voted for all of the right things and turned it in to be scanned (we have this cool, paper ballot scan system in NM now. It has a very fourth-grade test feel to it). I looked at the data screen when it scanned it and at 4:15 p.m. (after being open from 7 a.m.) I was the 206th voter at my location.
Maybe it’s just me. I put a lot of emphasis and importance on voting, it’s a civic duty as an American. I don’t know why more people don’t take the time to go out and vote – you even get paid time off to do it (on a federal election, at least). And there’s nothing better – from a cheesy free entertainment value standpoint – as watching the campaigning go on through the weeks prior to the election.
From the “Honey Bee” to Joanie, from K-Mart to Don’s recall, (notice how many websites have been stripped down so quickly – like Enron after the crash, nothing but a shell of a building left standing) this election cycle was hilarious! The ad, the push polls, the absurd statements were all great!
And they were an exercise in futility. The challengers were really in over their heads, and seemed from early on (all except Joanie, who has worked on a few campaigns before and gave it a good try – even though she was the wrong candidate for the district) to not know why they were running.