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It’s Smart To Vote

November 2, 2010

So I voted.

I hope all of you got out and cast your vote as well in whatever way you saw fit. That’s not meant to be a partisan remark (some of you might know that I had a family member running in the local election.) It’s just that we here in Springfield tend to be a fairly dispersed lot, and a community is only a community when its citizens act together to keep moving forward.

Like I said, this is not meant to be a lesson in civics. My job, as I understand it, is to point out the things that don’t always make sense and, if the Humor Gods are working with me, make them even worse. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, but by golly someone has to do it.

Anyway, after voting for my choice of candidates, I noticed that there was a referendum up for vote. I would like to tell you what that referendum was, except that I was clearly not smart enough to understand it. I read this thing five times all the way through, just like they tell you to do on the SATs, and I still didn’t know (a) what the matter up for vote was, (2) whether I was supposed to be for it or against it, and (iii) whether I should just call my parents and apologize for wasting the money they spent on my college education.

I think the problem is that these matters are written by politicians, many of whom have spent far more time in school than I have. It’s not that I’m not educated; I graduated from college (thanks, Mom and Dad!), read multiple newspapers each day and watch CNN. I even watch C-SPAN whenever I’ve had too much coffee and need to be lulled off the ledge.

But it’s easy to get the feeling that these referendum-writers are hoping to both impress and confuse voters by throwing just about every word in existence into the question, and it winds up sounding like this:

“In so far as the Regulatory Frottage agrees that the state-mandated control of the assessment by-laws can be predicated twice monthly by the impartially judicial flyswatters – and it wouldn’t be too much to ask, now would it? – the administrative and financial adverbs hereby release to the public, a priori, or, for those of us who didn’t attend Law School, “manipedi,” several reams of paper that no one in their right mind will ever read.”

Below that are four buttons, which read as follows:

a) Yes

b) No

c) I’m sorry, could you please repeat that?

d) I’m not smart enough to vote.

But it’s OK, because nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you have to understand what it is you’re voting for. All our forefathers asked was that we get out there and do it.

(Reprinted with permission from my column, “Next Exit” in The Springfield Patch, November 2, 2010)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 4, 2010 8:57 AM

    A very thoughtful post, although sadly the 4th button could also relate to RUNNING FOR OFFICE!

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