Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

My Ballot, My Ballot And Me

My Multnomah County (Oregon) mail-in ballot for the November 2012 election was safely in my mailbox when I got home, so now my ballot is safely home.

All my voting (since I could vote in November 1992) has been in this state, which switched in the 1990s to Vote-By-Mail. That's worked well for me. I did use a voting machine at least as late as the 1996 presidential election, but in that one I actually walked down to the polling place in Dundee with the two mail-in ballots my parents used, because you already could do that. Technically it was an absentee ballot my folks were using, but they were in-state; if I remember correctly, that was allowed since he was retired military and she's his spouse. Of course, I could be talking out my ass because I don't know for sure, but I voted. And now that's how almost all Oregonians vote; there are still machines for certain voters.

I've voted in most (not all) elections since 1992: local, state and national. I almost feel more adult when I do it.

There's at least one vote I wish I could take back: my 1992 vote for certain term limits. I now feel that was the wrong answer to the potential problem of people staying too long in office. I'm still not convinced becoming a career political seat-holder is always smart or productive, except for the career seat-holder in question, but there are other ways to limit terms, like, you know, vote for someone else! Yeah, major revelation is major. I'm not the most sophisticated political mind.

I have votes to figure out. Portland mayor is still going to be kind of a conundrum; I didn't vote for mayor in our spring primary because, honestly, my reaction to the three main candidates was "I don't want to vote for either Charlie Hales or Jefferson Smith so much as I want to not vote for Eileen Brady; I think she's the wrong choice for mayor, but I don't know yet if either other one is closer to the right choice." And I'm still not enamored of either Hales or Smith.

There's the usual mess of candidates, measures, and proposed amendments, none of them as easy as "What is your name? What is your quest? What is your favorite color?" I'll be slowly figuring out each vote, glad I can't be cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril for voting badly but wanting to be sure I don't vote badly anyway.

Vote, if you can. Please. It's a good habit.
Tags: politics
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