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My Annual Complaint



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My annual complaint is that our most important right, the right to vote, depends upon the dedication and vigilance of poll workers who were too dull to get a job at Kmart. They seem honest and well-meant, and are usually polite, but not exactly quick thinkers. When I arrived at my polling place, I was directed to a man who barely spoke English and spent several minutes attempting to look up my election district (which I already knew). Then I went through my yearly ordeal of making repeated attempts to explain how my last name is spelled, even though I had written it out on a card in advance.

Nobody told me that the fancy new New York State optical-scan ballot continued on the back of the sheet; if I hadn’t happened to know this, I would have missed the chance to vote on a proposition that purports to limit politicians’ terms but exempts current officeholders, as well as a dog’s breakfast of campaign regulations that I could not focus on at 7:00 a.m. and so voted No on from general principles. And finally, when I fed the fancy new ballot into the fancy new scanner, an error message came up. The poll worker said, “Don’t worry, your vote’s been counted.” Okay . . .



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