Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
49

How to Fucking Vote

It's the first Tuesday in November, so you know what that means? That's right: it's time to fucking vote.

There will be no whining about not making any real difference, like that bullshit Freakonomics piece argued, or the weather, or the complete dearth of respectable candidates. This is your duty as an American. And being guilted into voting is what it means to be American. You do consider yourself an American, don't you?

Hold on. No. You don't just run the fuck out and yank that lever. Voting takes preparation. You can't just "figure it out when you get there." That's how you ended up with that Camry with radiator problems, remember? Before you slouch back into that high school gymnasium where that thing you maybe don't want to talk about once happened, you have to figure out exactly which poor bastard is going to be awarded for best spending his (or even her) television advertising money.

Now, I'm not going to ask you if you've read the position papers from all the candidates. Not because I don't want to embarrass you, but look, I get it, The 40 Year Old Virgin was on and who doesn't always end up watching the rest of that? And mom needed her insulin injection and, yes, Farmville animals fucking die if not tended.

Here's a few easy tricks so you can correctly identify your party in about five minutes.

• Look around your house. Did you find a firearm? Did you expect to find one? Yes? Do you fear losing it? Fuck all the other considerations, you're voting for every Republican on that fucking ballot. Yes, even the fucking comptroller because, who knows. Sure, some of those Dems in more rural states may have been blowing smoke up everyone's asses about being pro-gun, but how can you be sure? By voting for NRA-endorsed fucking Republicans, that's how.

• Find drug "paraphernalia?" You're voting Democrat. Find a subscription to The New Yorker? Dem. Field and Stream? Republican. Guns and Ammo? Libertarian. Garden & Gun? Tricky: Democrat! Find an old Dixie flag? You're voting Republican. Find a union membership card? Democrat. A Huffington Post bookmark? Democrat.

• While you're looking around the house, look for pictures of Jesus Christ. Maybe crucifixes? Did you find some? Nearly everyone on the ballot is Christian, so you can't fucking lose!

• Did you find some religious imagery that isn't Jesus? Are you sure you're qualified to vote? Just don't bother—some bastard down there might challenge you on account of your garb. How embarrassing would that be? Stay home and cook yourself some fucking hummus instead.

• Do you in any way consider yourself part of the non-partisan "Tea Party" movement? It's tricky but here's a not-too-complicated tactic to identify the tea party candidates running against the "politics as usual" candidiate in each race. Just run your finger down the ballot next to each name. Do you see an "R?" There you go! That's the tea party candidate!

• Look in the mirror. Who is staring back at you? Does it resemble an artist sketch of a person of interest the authorities are frequently seeking for questioning? Yes? You'll be voting Democrat. Oh, and drive very carefully on your way to the polls. All they need is one reason and you'll be not voting… from jail.

• Now, stand up straight and say "Hello." Did it come out as "Hola?" Then forget voting and stay home to feed that anchor baby. Hasn't this country already done enough for you?

• One last test, before you run to the polls, take a good look at this picture.

Now, did that turn you on? You're voting fucking Democrat. Uh oh. You're very distraught that you were turned on by that? Then forget voting, just get down to City Hall immediately and file paperwork, because people should be fucking voting for you!

I'm sorry, say again? Oh, you want to suss out individual candidates to vote for? Good one! Just fucking vote the ticket. You think you're really going to put in the time to figure out the position differences in the candidates for sheriff? The state assemblymen? Pfffffffft. Please.

And that's right, we didn't cover economics. Sure that's what the pundits say is the driving theme of this election. But you know why we didn't cover that? Because despite all the position papers in the world, nobody on any ballot today actually knows one fucking thing about how to genuinely improve the economy. So just vote on the other shit.

Okay, now you're ready to to go. You want a drink first? No sweat, ease the weight of all that patriotic responsibility with a glass of wine. Make it red. And make it big and chubby. Hell yeah, use those middle-age lady goblet glasses. Most Americans were hammered for the first 100 years of voting. If you live in Wisconsin though, you'll probably want to be sure to vote for incumbent attorney general J.B. Van Hollen over challenger Scott Hassett, especially if you drive better after a few drinks.

Right, of course: you should probably find your fucking polling place first.

Once you get there, while in line, take some time to ponder how good it feels to be an American. Consider this: In a nation where voting is considered the ultimate honor and duty, one can get a cooked 1/2-pound of beef laid out on a toasted piece of bread with lettuce and cheese and a side of a peeled and sliced potato deep fried in oil with an iced and carbonated beverage in a fraction of the time and in more locations than it takes to cast a fucking vote.

Bring your child? Great. Go ahead and take him or her in the voting booth with you. There's no way for a child to better learn about the democratic process than to watch a parent exercise the right to select political representation. Plus, the experience will serve as a sweet memory to pass down to his or her children after the right to vote is eliminated by their Chinese overlords.

Now, you may have a lever to pull or a screen to touch or some little holes to punch out. Take your fucking time with this. Read the fucking directions. There's nobody watching you, so it's not like you'll embarrass yourself or look "uncool." Can we please have just one goddamn activity in the fucking country that one doesn't have to do while at the same time being "attractive?" Is that too much to ask!?

Now that you got that down, find those candidates you selected earlier.

What's that? You didn't plan on voting but you got all excited about that way fucking awesome Daily Show rally this weekend and even though you kinda went there on a lark to hang and be part of the party you ended up, like, somehow coming to understand that this shit is serious and that young people better cowboy the fuck up because ain't nobody else looking out for my future and shit's just getting way stupid and we all best be doing something about it? Well, good for you. Get out there and be counted. You did remember to register last month, right? Oh. You didn't, did you, dipshit. Actually no: good intentions don't mean shit in an election.

Oh, your child just exercised his right to make a political statement in his pants? Just go right ahead and use the voting table to swap that dirty nappie. Indeed, this is the only likely change that will result from you going into that booth anyway.

Okie dokie! Done? That's great. Give a smile to the old ladies manning that poll. Those old battle-axes are the lube of the democratic process. Without them, we'd have to have Mexicans run the whole operation.

Hey, what the fuck is that? A sticker? "I voted?" You think our founding fathers would have worn fucking stickers? Do you know WHY they even give those out? Because voting is so rare that Americans have to be proud that they did it at all, like they deserve some kind of fucking medal. Know what your medal is, jerkwad? A dumbaas sticker.

Should you have a job, it's time to hustle off to work. Employers are legally bound to allow you time to vote… Riiiiiight. Ha, a job.

Finally, when you get home, don't turn on the 24-hour squawking nincompoops to see if your team won. Fuck them. Be confident you did all you fucking could to make this country a better place despite itself.

Go ahead and cook yourself a fucking steak instead. You deserve it, you goddamn patriot.

Abe Sauer won't be accidentally voting green.

49 Comments / Post A Comment

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

I love that Camry, I'll have you know.

Moff (#28)

Marvelous. Marvelous.

brianvan (#149)

After looking around my apartment for a few minutes, I correctly determined that my party affiliation was "Charlie Sheen".

#moundsofblow

hockeymom (#143)

And for god's sake…do NOT forget to update your FB status to "Voted".
Because that's American, too.
(and put it on the Twittuhs)

cherrispryte (#444)

You know? Having found my voter's registration card by sheer luck this morning, I figured I WILL vote today, and was just starting to scroll through the fucking candidate's statements bullshit for DC, since it is not considered an important enough election to be on votesmart.org/voteeasy (which is an excellent website you should get yourself to if you live in a real state.) I was thinking maybe I'd vote for a Statehood Green candidate or two!
But no, Abe, you're right. I'm voting Democrat the whole way. I was a fucking idiot to think 3rd party.
I am probably also an idiot for voting in DC, as there is no fucking point. City's 92% Democrat or something, and it's not like we've even got votes in Congress. But whatever. Will go after work, and feel all civil-servicey n shit.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Any thoughts on the charter amendment?

cherrispryte (#444)

I am conflicted! (For those unfamiliar, it's a motion to make the Attorney General in DC a directly elected position, whereas the post is currently appointed by the mayor and DC Council) On one hand, separating the AG from Mayoral influence would be good, on the other hand, the DC electorate is not the best at making good choices while voting. I am unsure, and open to opinions!

garge (#736)

You need to show a card to vote? I have never had to do anything other than spell my name and know my address (or, erm, the last address at which I registered).

You don't need a card. At least in California, you don't even need id. If you're registered, you should be listed on the voter roll at your polling place. Even if you're not on the voter roll, you can cast a provisional ballot pending your confirmation as a voter.

Sadly, the people working the polling places don't always know the rules and mistakenly turn people away.

cherrispryte (#444)

I needed the card to see how DC decided to spell my name, because any of the normal permutations did not show up on the "Am I Registered to Vote?" website DC set up.
THEY ADDED A DASH. I DO NOT KNOW WHY. (For the vast majority of you who do not know my name: I have one of those two-word first names that get fucked up in official documents on the regular)

garge (#736)

What I relief! I went to public school so I may be confused, but I'd have hated to have to tell someone that DC was violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965orsomething.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Georgia's "are you registered" site requires you to manually cross-check the registration date, which is buried beneath your address, against another listed elsewhere on the page. Right next to the registration date it also says "STATUS: INACTIVE*" but if you follow the footnote you'll discover in the fine print that "An inactive status does not affect your ability to vote."

Basically, I'm wondering if the page was designed by the same person who drafted our voter ID law.

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

@cherri Oh man, I feel your pain. I have an unhyphenated double LAST name, that I noticed about 3 years after issue is hyphenated on my drivers license. Uuuhhh…

JennyBeans (#7,034)

@Mollycule I have an unhyphenated double last name that I just noticed (3 years after issue) is hyphenated on my social security card. AGH.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

I looked up my polling place on http://yourfuckingpollingplace.com/ This place better be as advertised:

LESBIAN FUCKING AND GAY CTR
208 WEST 13 ST
NEW YORK CITY, ny

HiredGoons (#603)

*call me, when you're done voting and let me know how it is.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

That is the best thing ever. My "fucking elementary school" has turned me off to the whole democratic process.

iantenna (#5,160)

my old co-op in berkeley (le chateau, rip) was a polling place for ages until the year naked guy (rip) rallied all the residents to vote naked. this anecdote isn't really apropos of anything about your polling place but it seemed like the best place to put it.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Having lived for a while in the Madison le chateau co-op (rip), it is apropos of EVERYTHING.

HiredGoons (#603)

'A Huffington Post bookmark' is this ironic, or meta?

petejayhawk (#1,249)

No holes to punch or buttons to push. We get honest-to-god scantron bubbles to fill in, like all True Americans should.

Oh, and I voted last week down at the courthouse. That's right, I was into voting before it went mainstream.

freetzy (#7,018)

You can also use your \"I Voted\" slip of paper to prove to your boss you voted if she demands it so you don\'t get fired for showing up late again. Also, the bartenders at Simon\'s Tavern in Chicago\'s fabulous Andersonville neighborhood used to (maybe still do?) give you a free beer if you have one.

hockeymom (#143)

Unless you voted for Democrats and work at McDonalds.

freetzy (#7,018)

Then your newfound unemployment graces you with yet another terrific reason to drink at Simon's on a Tuesday night.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

And it's glögg season now – all the more reason to hit up Simon's.

Mindpowered (#948)

Working at McDonalds is excuse for drinking at any time.

freetzy (#7,018)

I love that Andie's also has glögg. Why yes, I would love some hot wine with raisins in it with my schwarma and kifta kabab platter.

HiredGoons (#603)

You read books about how people worse off than you are getting screwed? Dem.

You read books about how you're being screwed by people worse off than you? Rep.

hockeymom (#143)

You read?
Dem.

I fucking voted!

\"Look at your voter registration card. Is your name vaguely ethnic? Misspelled? Live in Brooklyn? You\\\'re voting Working Families Party!\"

City_Dater (#2,500)

Good thing I already voted, because Daniel Craig walking out of the surf always makes me forget stuff that I would need to do that, like my name and where I live.

KarenUhOh (#19)

The people in line behind me this morning brought their daughter. "We've brought her with us when we vote for three elections now," Mom said, to anyone who'd listen. But, it was 6:15, so mostly everyone wanted Mom to shut the hell up.

They ended up in the booth next to mine. Someone slammed a hand against the canvas wall. In sotto whispero: "MOM. I cannot BELIEVE you're voting for that asshole!"

Wish I knew how it turned out, but there were a lot of candidates.

and a lot of assholes.

garge (#736)

I love voting. I love crying off and telling the pamphleteers that I already know how I'm voting on the issues, thanks. I vote first thing in the morning, and love that there is always a huge line for every other district subset at my polling place except mine, I can just mosey right up to the table (not noble of me, sure). I love the markers (although I wish there were a lever or a blue curtain). I love that I can sneak a couple of books at the self check-out before library hours (my polling place is the public library). I love the voting doughnut I consume afterward, and the brown liquor I consume all evening as I watch the results.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Back home, my polling place was this decrepit bingo hall that eventually turned into an awesomely huge discount liquor store. Of course, they moved the polling place across the street to the grammar school once that happened. Wouldn't it be great if they didn't?

There is a grammar school across the street from a discount liquor store? Your local politicians rock.

Bittersweet (#765)

@garge: you got a free doughnut after voting? That rocks all over the pathetic sticker. (Or did you hit up Dunkin's afterward?)

Also, I hope you gave the correct answers for the referenda.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@kitten: It's funny, because the liquor store went up when my youngest brother was in 8th grade. You'd hear about all these PTA members complaining about how bad it was for a liquor store to be so close to a school, and how they wanted to start a petition to halt the building process and whatever. Meanwhile, everyone in my family is thinking, "There's about to be a liquor store a block away from our house. Don't ruin this!"

@Bittersweet: the correct answers are "no", right?

garge (#736)

@Bittersweet: not free (although I was thinking that they should really give out cookies and juice after voting), I stimulated the economy at that certain chain, which employed yours truly pre-9/11. And OF COURSE I gave the correct answers, but I had an unexpected question 4, which I left unanswered (as I did for Attorney General–still bitter), because I don't like surprises!

Bittersweet (#765)

@boy: yes, although Balk might not approve of that answer for Question 1.

@garge: Question 4? Did you get the mutant space alien ballot? And I did some revenge voting for Attorney General – take that, Martha…

You don't really cook hummus. Maybe the garbanzos but I usually buy the canned ones. How should I vote?

Abe, you should start a fucking civics course.

Call it: "Civics 101, You Fucking Dumbass"

Br. Seamus (#217)

Chapter 3: The Fucking City Council\'s Job is to Get Shit Done

hman (#53)

I can have a burger and fries and a steak today? Damn, I really am a fucking patriot.

barnhouse (#1,326)

Just off to vote YAY, now that I know how! Thank you, Abe Sauer!

I once consulted a similarly-constituted questionnaire and it said I was a Quaker.

iantenna (#5,160)

wake up every morning with a joint and an overwhelming sense of dread for the future? also, you've read every book on the subject of the incident at pine ridge? peace and freedom.

deepomega (#1,720)

Makes me wish I could go vote again.

Mindpowered (#948)

Back in the day, voting in Montreal was so much fun, dead would rise and vote repeatedly at $50 a pop. I miss those days.

Thomas Wood (#8,367)

This post made me want to go out and spend less time in line to go get a tasty cheeseburger with bacon and onions and…
Wait, what do you mean I completely missed the point of the article?
Oh well, Jimmy McMillan probably wasn't going to win anyway.

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