Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Baldilocking Juliette's Experience with the VLWC

If you haven't checked out the "Baldilocking Juliette" blog you're missing a great read. She's an Air Force reservist, she's left-handed, she's tall, and oh yeah, she's also a conservative black woman. Which creates some problems for her when the time comes to vote It's a party.:

Did the VLWC try to invalidate my vote? You decide.

I walk in, hand over my ID and two people with separate lists check my name against my address. Then, a third person hands me my ballot. I didn't notice either of the first two tell the third which party I was a member of and, to my own chagrin, I didn’t look at the ballot at first. I merely said ‘thank you’ and headed toward one of the two Republican voting booths.

“No, no,” said the third person, a woman. “Go to one of those booths.” She was pointing at one of the five Democrat booths. I looked down at my ballot and it was a Democrat one. I walked over and handed it back to her.

“Aren’t you a Democrat?” she asked ponderously.

“No, ma’am,” I said with military precision. “I’m a Republican.”

Suddenly, in a polling place deep in the heart of Maxine Water’s congressional district, it got real quiet; not a menacing quiet—these were older, presumably church-going folk—but quiet nonetheless. I received the correct ballot, went to the correct booth, did my thing and got out of there, with eyes burning holes in my back.
Guess it goes with the territory; like for being left-handed and bald-headed.

I admire Juliette's class and restraint, and she's fearless. And her experience is proof positive that we need to do something to reform the primary voting process. There has to be a way to preserve voter confidentiality and not make a voter's choice of parties an issue for all and sundry. After all, I live in Chicago, and in the recent past I voted as a democrat in a primary ***gasps all around!***. Not because I am a democrat, but because there were no serious republican candidates for city and state-wide office, and I wanted to send one particular democrat candidate packing. It doesn't change my basic views, but having my choice of a republican ballot known to everyone at my polling place makes me nervous. Chicago is a "Daley Democrat" town, and asking for a republican ballot in Daley's town can be just about as intimidating as asking for one in Maxine Waters' district.

I'll take Juliette's example as my model when I absentee vote in the coming couple of weeks.

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