Voting by process of elimination

I've read stories about undecideds making up their mind in the voting booth, but I never really believed them until last night. I honestly had no idea who I would vote for when I walked into the booth with my paper ballot. And it's not just because I was distracted by a shiny object.

In fact, I was so undecided that I voted for all of the other offices on the ballot--as well as the three ballot questions--before filling in the little arrow for the Massachusetts governor's race.

I'm registered "unenrolled" so that I can vote as a Republican or Democrat in the primary. Theoretically, anyway--the truth is I always vote Democrat. And if forced to choose, I guess I would have to say that I am, in fact, a Democrat. But when it comes to local politics, I'm what you'd call a Weld Democrat--socially liberal but fiscally conservative. I have voted for Republican governors in the past because I think they do a better job of keeping the books balanced and because I like the balance of power that comes with a Democratic legislature and a Republican in the corner office.

As I worked my way through the ballot, I realized I was voting Democrat in every single race.

Martha Coakley? Love her. Dem.
Ted Kennedy? I votTED Dem.
Fence viewer, dog catcher, clerk of the courts? Dem, Dem, Dem.

After voting for all those Dems, my pen did in fact hover momentarily over Republican Kerry Healey's broken arrow last night. But I just couldn't bring myself to fill it in. And despite the fact that negative campaigns are often effective (see the results of Question 1 for proof), hers was so disgusting that even if I agreed with her politics 100%, I would have had a hard time voting for her.

She ran ads that basically said if you vote for the black guy, white women are going to get raped.

It sounds crazy, but it's true. The worst of them was the so-called parking garage ad. The Washington Post called it vicious (scroll down to item 4), and the Christian Science Monitor mentions it in an Oct. 31 story, "Attack ads sometimes backfire."

Anyway, of course it's more complicated than that, but in the end, that's what pushed my last-minute decision not to vote for Healey. I only hope that since I'm not the only one, politicians will learn a lesson from it. But I'm guessing they probably won't.

Anyway, I flirted with voting for the fat lesbian, who impressed me with her passion and her grasp of the issues, but she and I don't see eye to eye on the First Amendment. And plus, you know, she's basically a communist. I almost voted for the guy that Berto calls "everybody's favorite crazy uncle," just for the fun of seeing what he might say or do next, but I have a strange aversion to wasting my vote on candidates who don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

So that left Democrat Deval Patrick. I'm not with him 100% on the issues. I feel like he talks real pretty but doesn't say much. But I also figure he's got to do a good job here if he wants to run for President. And he isn't, you know, crazy. Or a communist. Or an asshole.

That seems like a good enough reason to vote for someone, right?


wineva said...

I don't envy Americans having to navigate the electoral process ... Canadians have it easier since we don't have to go through the hassle of registering for a party in order to vote or trying to figure out how the electoral college works. Oh yeah, and the Senate is appointed for life so we don't have to worry about that.

Of course it doesn't always work out perfectly since we elected a robot as Prime Minister:

wineva said...

Stephen Harper video>

wineva said...

oops, above is the link to the video of our beloved Prime Minister

Debra said...

I still want a "none of the above" catagory on the ballots. A way to vote that every single party screwed up in either choosing thier candidate or marketing her/him.

Like you, I'm a social liberal and a fiscal conservative... which means my vote can swing depending upon the office and the candidate.

Anonymous said...

I liked the distracted by a shiny object piece - who is that Bob person? It was very funny.