So, yesterday I got an email from the LA County Democratic Party that contained the "official endorsements" of the party and a "click here to find out where to vote", which is exactly what I needed. Perfect - I clicked and I found out that my polling place was, like, on my street. Like, steps away. Awesome.
So, after teaching at job number one and before teaching at job number two, I drove home, and I voted. I think. I say that because the people staffing the place were unbelievably incompetent. Like, I almost thought it was a joke. They messed up almost every single step of the sign-in look-me-up give-me-a-ballot process. I finally got one, as well as a little tutorial on how to do the InkaVote thing, and I went into my little booth... which of course isn't a booth, it's like a podium with no curtain or divider or any of that old-fashioned privacy stuff. I filled out my ballot... sort of. More on that in a second. After filling in my little circles, I folded the thing the way I understood the directions to say to fold it (though I wasn't sure I did it right) and brought it over to the guy. He basically opened it up and looked at it (!!) and then handed it back to me to stick in the little slot. No scanning, no receipt, no nothing. I mean, yes, I got the sticker. But do I feel like I DID something that will COUNT for something? Do I feel at all confident that I did things correctly and that the pollworkers did things correctly? Faaaaaaaar from it.
Question number zero: Is this sloppier because it's a primary, or could I expect exactly the same situation in November?
Question number one: Thank god I could see the ink come out and I wasn't one of those CA voters who were told THEY WERE WRITING WITH INVISIBLE INK WHEN IN FACT THEY WERE "WRITING" WITH A STYLUS MEANT FOR A TOUCHSCREEN!! Or was I?
Question number two: Was I one of those voters who misunderstood the confusing "if you are not registered as a Democrat, do not not fail to not fill in this question. If not, don't not skip ahead to the next." first question?
Now, why do I say I filled in my ballot, kind of? Because: I voted for a presidential nominee, and then I burst into tears at the sight of the questions. I mean, I didn't, but I could. I got the sample ballots ahead of time. I got the explanation/argument packets in the mail. I tried, I tried to read and understand these things, and in all honesty I have to say: I could not. I could not. Now, I think I'm a fairly smart girl. I don't think I'm as smart as *you* guys seem to think I am, but I do agree that I'm reasonably smart. Literate; educated; even, dare I say, erudite. (Yes, I dare. I even pronounce it correctly.) And I could not separate the fact from the rhetoric or the meat from the hype or the bull from the bullshit. I failed to memorize all the Party's official positions, the no-yes-yes-no-maybe train that came in my handy email (not that I believe in blindly following that anyway) and I had to just leave a bunch of 'em blank.
I threw away my sticker.
[Though I'm not sure if California has been officially tallied yet or not, it currently appears that Clinton has won all four of the states I've ever lived in. Interesting? On the Republican side, McCain won three of them and Romney won MA, of course.]