Monday, November 03, 2008

The Day Before Tomorrow

OK, have a seat. It’s time for the grown-up talk.

Tomorrow is Election Day, and it’s a big one. In our little corner of the world, its President, Governor, all of the Administration, US Rep, two state legislators, three initiatives, 1 traffic proposition, and a partridge in a pear tree. Your mileage may vary, but the odds are it is going to be big.

So here are some things to think about:

Vote early – To those of you who have already mailed your ballots in – Thank You. I’m rather suspicious of the whole mail-in thing, imagining some disgruntled letter-carrier with bags of ballots in his broom closet. But given the huge tide of voters this year, it’s important. Warn your boss you might be in a little late. As an added bonus, you can nag your nonvoting coworkers with impunity.

Be patient in line – This one is for me – I am used to dropping in on my favorite polling place about 9 AM on the way to work, chatting with the poll workers as they check my identification, usually being one of the first five to vote in Rush district, and then being on my way. Like I said, there are a lot of people voting and a lot of stuff on the ballot. Bring a book.

Be Patient Afterwards – We may not have enough data by 8 PM tomorrow to say who won on a national level, and it is dead-certain we won’t know for a couple days for a lot of the state and local offices. Part of this is because of the process – we get a lot of votes from urban centers (which overwhelm the system) and a lot of votes from the rural areas (which overwhelm the system). I have seen winners become losers. We’ll wait, but Count All the Votes.

Vote anyway – It may be that by the time you get off work, the presidential campaign is over from the numbers back east and the contender has conceded. Vote anyway. Run the numbers up. And there are more than enough other things that are Washington State-centric that need your attention.

Just chill out – There are going to be a lot of narratives being thrown around tomorrow. Some people will find out they were purged from the polls. Some districts will discover that the restless dead are voting, or the neighborhood dog, or the restless dead’s neighborhood dog. There are going to be machines that flip votes and things very strange results. Nader will carry a small town in Indiana by more votes than there are people there. It’s a sloppy, nasty operation, but chill out. One of the reasons to vote is to reduce the amount of whackiness in the system. Real votes reduce the power of bogus votes.

No, I mean it, Chill Out, Dude. This is not a football game, it is a new hire. We’re hiring someone for one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Some damned fools are going act like it’s the Superbowl, and some are going to go all Soccer Hooligan when their team punts.

OK, that’s about it. Here are my choices, if you’re still up in the air. Here are Steve and Shelly’s, for other opinions. Here are those for the Times and the P-I and the Stranger. The Weekly doesn't pay attention to real world anymore.

And lastly, here is my favorite YouTube video from the campaign:

More later

More late.