I was looking for any opportunity to become a disenfranchised voter as I hit the polls this morning at 8am. Line too long? Disenfranchisement! Election workers not friendly? Disenfranchisement! Pencil not sharp enough? Dis-en-fran-fucking-chisement!!!
Unfortunately, my mission was hampered from the beginning. The long trek to my assigned polling place -- Denver's Edison Elementary -- turned out to be a scant fifty yards away (I live directly across the street from the school).
I was heartened as I entered the school and saw a line of about fifty people. I nudged my younger brother as a signal to fall loose on the ground in a demonstration of non-violent resistance, but then a cheery poll worker asked our last name and directed us to a shorter line of about ten people.
I scanned the auditorium in hopes of spotting Republican operatives there to oversee a complex electoral scam, or at least some union goons in house for some good, old-fashioned voter intimidation. There were none. Not only that, the electronic voting machines I'd been hoping for turned out to be ones that use plain, boring paper ballots! I frowned. "How's a guy supposed to get his vote stolen in a joint like this?" I told my brother. "It's a travesty."
Then came the moment of truth. We approached the table and noticed the sign that read "Martinez -- Z." Our last name starts with M-a-h. Damn that cheery poll worker. She put us in the wrong line by ten letters of the alphabet. Our ballots were at the other table -- out of our reach. I was ready to bellow about how my franchisement was being dissed. Before I could clear my throat, however, an election official simply allowed us to cut in line at the other table, where I was promptly given my ballot.
I proceeded to an open voting booth and suffered through my suffrage without any incident. The worst part was the knowledge that Colorado's new status as a battleground state means that my presidential vote will actually mean something rather than simply being ground up in the electoral college as in years past. On my way out, the cheery poll worker gave me an "I Voted" sticker and smiled. The process was so quick that the hours I had cynically blocked out for my disenfranchisement are now open.
But this is America, I reminded myself. Somewhere in this great nation, the land of opportunity, somebody is somehow getting fucked out of their vote. And it is for them I shout: Disenfranchisement! -- Jared Jacang Maher
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