Tag Archive for bob barr

Made My Voice Heard

I Voted!
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

The Wife and I just finished voting over my lunch break. I was the 317th person to vote in our precinct, which isn’t half bad considering there are only 2000 people in our town and the eligible voters are split across two precincts. No lines, just walked up, they verified my address, someone else verified my signature, and I was handed my ballot. Only waiting I had to do was for the Wife to finish so she could keep an eye on the Little Bird while I voted.

I’m glad we don’t have to deal with touchscreens here. I hear way too many nightmares about improperly calibrated electronic voting machines, and I just don’t trust e-voting yet. Our county is using the old-fashioned, fill-in-the-bubble paper ballots. They take a little longer to fill out because of the ovals that have to be filled in, but they’re simple to use and easy to read. Tampering would have to come from the whole precinct of judges, judging by the roll of paper tape signed by several officials and taped to the tabulating machine. My ballot is my paper trail,whether or not I have it in hand, and there’s no problem down the road of misinterpreting hanging chads.

As for the votes themselves, I stuck to my guns and voted Barr. The Wife and I may very well be the only two Barr votes in the precinct — maybe even the county — but that’s fine. That’s what the process is about, as far as I’m concerned. Then we both chose independent parties for as many seats as we could; everything local only had Republicans running, which gives you a good picture of our county. I also voted yes to recommend our legislature write a concealed carry firearms law, and no to our state setting up a new Constitutional Convention.

This next bit will probably only be of interest to Illinois citizens. I’ve heard via Twitter that some folks heard on the news that there was a handout to go with the Constitutional Convention ballot item, replacing the wording that appears on the ballot itself. At least two people said they didn’t get that handout. Our precinct did have it: they posted it inside each polling booth and they also handed every voter a laminated copy which was turned in when the ballot was placed in the machine. For those wondering, it wasn’t a drastic change. I read the original wording out of curiosity, and it explains that the vote in 1988 was shot down by a margin of 75% against to 25% in favor. I’m guessing they didn’t want that to influence the vote, but the handout also mentioned “inaccuracies” so maybe those numbers were off. Either way, in my opinion there’s nothing that can’t be changed through the current legislative process, and our state budget is already screwed up enough that we don’t need to be spending the money on the Constitutional Convention. It’s good to have the right to vote on rewriting the State Constitution every 20 years, but I don’t think it needs to be exercised at this time. Your mileage may vary.

Now I’m wearing my “I Voted” sticker around the school, as are all the teachers who have voted so far. It’s important to set that example for the students. There are enough adult voters who don’t bother, so we best start motivating the next generation before it’s too late.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Politics, Politics, Politics, Politics

The political process in the US is broken.

On the left, we have a young, inexperienced black man with wide appeal who brought in an old white dude to give himself credibility. On the right, we have an old white dude with credibility who brought in a (somewhat) young, inexperienced woman to give himself wider appeal. The left has the black vote, so the right upstages it with a shot at the female vote. I don’t buy into the Obama hype machine, and I’m especially not going to vote for him with Joe Biden behind him. I’m not thrilled with McCain, but I’m especially not going to vote for him with Sarah Palin behind him.

Does either side care about the best candidate anymore? Not from where I’m standing. It’s about who is the most electable candidate. It’s not about taking care of the country, it’s about keeping the party in power. And they both fuel the myth that there are only two parties in this country, which, sadly, the media perpetuates.

To Hell with them both. I’m voting for Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party.

Not (just) because I want to spite the other two parties, but because I can vote for him without feeling like I’m choosing the lesser of two evils. Because I can vote for him without having to “hold my nose” and pull the lever for Candidate X, as one of my friends recently put it. Because I happen to agree with Barr on many issues, and because a third party is the real change I can believe in.

I’ve heard the usual arguments against this: I’m throwing away my vote; I’m splitting the vote in favor of one side or the other; the electoral college will never place a vote for a third party; blah, blah, blah.

That may be true for the moment, but I think that’s changing. Ventura got Minnesota on a third party ticket. The last Illinois election for governor landed the Green Party more votes than any third party in the state’s history. I think people are becoming more and more disillusioned with the current bi-partisan system and are looking for alternatives, and the Internet has finally given them a way to find those alternatives.

If you honestly like Obama or McCain, then fine, by all means, vote for them. If you don’t like either one of them, then please, don’t flip a coin or just stay home, do some research and pick the candidate who is right for you.

For me, again, that candidate is Bob Barr.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.