The voters’ pamphlet has arrived! I’ll admit, there are a lot of years that I toss it into the recycle bin without a second look. While I know that votes matter, even in the minor elections, and Oregon’s mail-in ballots could not make it any easier or more convenient, I tend to be one who saves my votes for the biggies. I know this is stupid and senseless.
This year we’re voting on semi-importanter things, so I plan to exercise my right. However, first I want to make fun of things, because making fun of things is fun!
- Did you know that the order of the candidates appearing on the ballot must be random? So says ORS 254.155. I became thoroughly familiar with a lot of Oregon statutes after writing bylaws for a nonprofit corporation, but I guess I passed right by the ones having to do with general elections. Who knew? (Probably Loveliest Lori. I bet she knew.) This year’s alphabet is OQCNMRDZTHPJAYVIKBUGSFLEWX, in case you were wondering. (What’s with the “bugs flew” in this alphabet? Hmmm.)
- The information candidates submit for the voters’ pamphlet is sometimes hilarious. The ones who have “the school of hard knocks” or “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart” under “education”? That’s pretty much saying I’M NOT REAL SMART, BUT I’M PRETEND SMART. Seriously, don’t try to tell me whatever you did instead of going to college was just as educational; that’s probably not true and you probably know it. We need people representing us who know how to think. Am I education-ist? Yes. Proudly.
- Oh, and I’m also comma-ist. Why so few Oxford commas, people? Don’t you know why they’re so important?
- “Tootie,” really? The name of this local politician might never not make me laugh. ‘Course, we’ve had “Mitt,” “Tip,” “Newt,” and “Dick Armey,” so why not?
- US Rep, 3rd district, Pacific Green party candidate, this one’s for you (I don’t want to write your name on my blog). You have some good ideas, but I don’t think anyone will take you very seriously when it looks like your photo was taken under duress and by a police officer. Did you have no other options? Have you not heard of the SELFIE???
- I do not, and probably never will, understand how the phrases “right to bear arms,” “defending the family,” and “protecting our borders,” so frequently appear with “Christian.” And the justification of denying assistance to the needy? Gah.
If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it. (Stephen Colbert)
- While the Constitution Party concerns me (because, y’know, see the quote above, and also, a party based on a group’s interpretation of their god’s word—yikes), I find the official political party statements fascinating. I mean, they all sound so righteous. I guess they should—you wouldn’t want to align yourself with a party that’s just “meh” about their platform—but it’s almost hilarious how most of them seem to have all the right answers, and they use all the “gotcha” words they know people react to. Nearly every one of the parties has at least one issue with which I agree, but being so firm in others makes me a whole lotta nervous. I want to believe there’s really not a chance of these smaller (read: kooky) parties to get anywhere, but it’s happened before. Yikes again.
- ARE YOU TOO DUMB TO VOTE? I chuckle reading some of the instructions to voters, especially the FAQs: “What if I change my mind after I have returned my ballot?” I want the job of whoever gets to answer that question because I bet it involves a lot of slapping. “Do I need to attach first-class postage to my ballot envelope if I return it to a drop site?” Really? I also enjoyed this instruction: “Some families like to make voting a communal event, but make sure the envelope you sign is your own, and doesn’t belong to some other family member. [Do not let] your spouse or child or parent sign your ballot envelope.” SMH.
- Here’s something I’m not making fun of: people working on making college more affordable. We’re way overdue on that. In fact, most of the measures that have to do with updating educational resources and buildings should pass without argument. They probably won’t, because voters are often jackasses, but they should.
The only state measures I still need to educate myself on are the ones having to do with open primaries (90), marijuana legalization/regulation (91), and food labeling (92). That’s when I’m glad to have the voter’s pamphlet. After that, it’s straight to the recycle bin.
DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! Unless you disagree with me, in which case DON’T TURN IN YOUR BALLOT BEFORE NOVEMBER 5.