Democracy In Action

I walked down to the local fire station early yesterday morning to vote. It’s always a small thrill to start seeing the orange VOTE signs start to appear like Halloween pumpkins.



New at the polls this year: the “Secrecy Sleeve,” a paper folder with an oddly alarming name. The Secrecy Sleeve keeps your ballot away from prying eyes during the long journey from the voting booth to the scanner that swallows it up when you’re done voting.

And when you’re done, a sticker to show that you voted. A practice reminiscent of the colored star stickers we used to receive for finishing a piece of work in elementary school. Funny how pleasing it still is to get a sticker for doing something.


Walking home, I was thinking about how badly the special pen for marking the ballot worked, and how so often very basic elements of complex systems get overlooked. When it occurred to me that I wasn’t getting rocks thrown at me, and there were no security forces with automatic weapons standing guard. So I figured I should cut them some slack about the pen.


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