Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I waited till 10am to vote today and went into work later than I usually do. When I arrived at my polling precinct, located in a dilapidated American Legion hall on South Grand Avenue, I thought I had scored big. There was a steady flow of voters, which made my heart sing, but no long lines and lots of places to park. What I found moments later was another story, an outrage of sorts but I was up for the challenge. Poll workers, a breed of their own, much like workers at the DMV, were behaving badly and it took someone with a little chutzpah to set them straight. You guessed it friends...that person was me and when it comes to voting, especially in the biggest election of the century, you can count on my set to prance proudly, in a less than polite way, around those who try and interfere with my secret ballot.

I'll set the scene:

Folding tables and chairs, fluorescent lighting, musty stench in the air, antiquated lever style voting machines, stained wall-to-wall carpeting.


Poll workers: Paunch old men wearing miss-matched clothes, middle aged women with bad hair, outfits from low couture Wal-Mart fashion house, heavy older women with nasty demeanor's and crocheted poncho's.

Act I:

Middle Age Poll Worker: What's your name? (leafing through the voting book).

Rene': Rene' Giminiani-Caputo, but it may be under Caputo or Caput0-Giminiani. The county can't seem to get my name correct. It's only been thirteen and a half years......

Middle Age Poll Worker: OK, look under Giannooni....

Rene': No, that's Giminiani with a G

Middle Age Poll Worker: Aaaaa alright. Look for Caputo.

Rene': (thinking this woman is a moron and the look on her face shows it)

Pauchy Old Man Poll Worker: Are you Rene'?

Rene': Yes, that's me.

Middle Age Poll Worker: Sign the book by your name. (To the Old Man Poll Worker) Write her name down on the list and give her a number. She's a De......

Rene': Don't you dare reveal my party affiliation. How dare you! That is totally inappropriate and against voting rules. Aren't you even going to id me?

Old Man Poll Worker: Oh no, the machine is down again. Don't let the next two voters go in until the mechanic gets here and fixes the machine.

(Enter the voting machine mechanic who probably works but one day a year)

Middle Aged Poll Worker: Sign the book now.

Rene': I will not sign the book until it's time for me to vote. How long will it take for the mechanic to fix the machine? I have to go to work.

Middle Aged Poll Worker: (in a nasty tone) Well, I'm going to take your off the list if you don't sign the book.

Rene': Listen, when it is time for me to vote, I will sign the book. Not now! I'm going to report voter irregularity if you don't stop.

Middle Aged Poll Worker: Fine. You can stay in line then. (in a huffy tone).

They continue to let the two people ahead of me vote, while the mechanic worked on the machine. When I asked if our votes were counting, the poll workers kept saying it did not affect the presidential race, just the one for judges. What happened to "every vote counts?" They assure me that the machine is fixed, so I hesitantly enter the booth as the older woman behind me picks up my fight. "I'm not voting in this machine if it doesn't count," she said in a loud voice. "I want my vote to count!" As she
clammered away out there, I took my trusty cell phone out and took pictures inside the booth (to post later tonight)...only a couple. I felt I wanted to document Obama's moment and wished I had brought my regular camera to get a better shot of lever laden field of candidates. The only one I was concerned with was presidency. It was nice to see Obama's name listed in the number one slot on the machine. I still had a bit of angst wishing it was Hillary but for now I've moved on and have pledged my vote for a clear path to hope and change...and most importantly, to END THE WAR!!!

I turned my polling place into the Board of Elections, The Nassau County League of Women Voters, the Obama website and 1-800-OUR-VOTE. I cannot believe this nonsense is going on but in the same breath, I anticipated it. I'm sure anyone living in a diverse, multi-cultural area, will see much of the same. When people start screwing with our votes the end of democracy is near. If you experience any voter irregularities, turn them in to your local Board of Elections. These heathens must be stopped!

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