Dixie Peach: No Pencil Required. No Chads to Hang.

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No Pencil Required. No Chads to Hang.

Right now on TV is a show about the last days of the DDR (East Germany). Since B lived the first thirty years of his life under this regime, he's always interested in this topic.

"Look! Look! Look at how we had to vote! You didn't mark the ballot - all you did was fold it over and throw it in the box. We even called it 'going to fold' instead of 'going to vote'. 'I'm going to go fold now!'"

"What? You didn't check or circle any names?"

"No. It was just a list of names and you folded the paper over and that was it. You could cross through names or just make a big X over everything on the list and it would still count as a 'yes' vote."

"So all the people on the ballot won?"

"Yeah. It was a list of all the people running for office - for a seat in the government - and that's who you voted for. You didn't run if you weren't going to be one of the winners. There were no losers on the ballot. Look! They're showing a ballot right now! That list of people were who you were voting for and they all won. Now sometimes you could check yes or no to a question."

"What was the question?"

"Are you for world peace?"

"Who in the world would check 'no' to that question?"

"No one, of course. It was all just some shit. To make you think you were expressing an opinion with your vote, I guess. Like if you didn't vote and check yes you were really against world peace."

"What was the point of voting then?"

"That's just it. There was no point to voting! Isn't that funny?"

"No. That's sick. It's perverse and sick to call your nation 'democratic' - to have it in the name of your country - and it not be even close to an actual democracy."

"I agree. I agree. And what was worse is that we were required to vote. You had to do it. Remember me telling you that after my accident I refused to vote because they wouldn't give me my proper disability pension? They - the party people - came to me and demanded that I vote. It was all such a joke. Vote? Vote for what? I said to them, 'What are you going to do? Put me in jail? You give me my money and then I'll vote!' and my dad was freaking out that they'd put him in jail because I wouldn't vote."

"Did you get your money?"

"Eventually. But I still wouldn't vote."


If you're a US citizen, you need to always remember how precious your vote is. How important it is. It isn't just lip service. It really does have an impact on your nation and on the world. And this election cycle it could be even more important because this could be a very close election. Don't waste this opportunity.

There are just three weeks left before the US election. If you haven't registered and still have an opportunity to, do it. And when election day arrives, go vote. Don't give away a right that others around the world have struggled to have for themselves.



Blogger C N Heidelberg said...

I just voted today and now it seems all the more awesome to have done it.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Well said!

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night I decided to dig through my junk drawer and look for my new voter card. I got it a month after I moved. My plan was to enter the address into my GPS and be ready to go voting day. Nothing was going to get me off track. I purposely put my voter card into my junk drawer because it seems that it is the junk roach motel- things go in but never come out. I even knew I could find it without my miner's hat.

Sure enough there it was. Got the GPS and searched the card for the voting site. Put GPS away.

New voting site is across the street- literally. Think "shortest distance scenario. Think- 4 feet of snow, Mollie is still voting situation.

Chalk up 20 more minutes of sleep on Election day.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Marshamlow said...

When I lived in Indiana I would have to stand in line for hours to get my turn to vote. Here in Mississippi so far there has never been anyone there but me, just walk in the door, vote. No waiting. I wonder if it will be different in the presidential election.

My other voting story. When we visited Egypt in March of 2002, we were able to have long discussions with our tour guide and learned a little about their voting system.

He told us that each area is designated by the Mosque. Whereever you live there is a Mosque you attend. The head of your Mosque is the only person in your area who votes.

He takes into consideration the needs of all the people in his (I don't know the word Parish, jusristiction, area?) and votes accordingly. Therefore before each election the incumbent goes around and asks each of the Clerics (Is that the right term? I forget- the religious leader of that area) he asks what do y'all need. Because he is currently in power he has the opportunity to grant each Cleric favors and get re-elected. It is supposed to work well because the religious leaders are trusted honorable men who have the ability to cut out the bull and talk one on one with the leader of their country and get what they need in their area.

Our tour guide was very frustrated with this system and felt that it was fraught with corruption. He went on and on about how much he wanted to move to America. None of us had the heart to tell him that we are all at times frustrated with the corruption in our government too. I cannot know for sure if this was the propaganda for tourists version of thier government but it felt real and I trusted by guide.

It is so very interesting for me to learn how the rest of the world works. I appreciate it so much when you give me glimpses of your life and Germany's history.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Diane Mandy said...

What an interesting post! Since living in Europe, I have met a handful of people who lived under the control former U.S.S.R and their stories always fascinate me (and, yes, make me appreciate the freedoms I grew up with).

12:22 AM  

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