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National Editorials & Columns

A vote of no confidence

There is nothing I love more than voting. Voting is the ultimate expression of one of our most natural rights as Americans, aside from owning guns and stopping the government from taking them. I’ll vote on just about anything, and not just important things like which corrupt politician I want representing me.

Want me to vote for my favorite flavor of Doritos or best-tasting carbonated beverage? Sure, you got it. By the way, it’s Cool Ranch and Coke, unless there is a Coke-flavored brand of Doritos of which I am not aware. Need me to take a pointless online survey about weight loss? No problem, don’t mind if I do. Who is the best basketball player of all time? I don’t know anything about basketball, so I’ll just vote for Larry Jordan.

In the small town where I reside, I live smack dab in between the post office and town hall. Up until recently, town hall was where I voted.

Literally speaking, if I was standing at my front doorway, it would be a shorter distance to go vote than it would be to walk to my coffee maker. I kid you not, one time I voted in a shoddy pair of pajama pants, barefoot, because the polling location was actually closer than my kitchen.

Being nextdoor neighbors with a polling precinct was a luxury I always took for granted. It was great because I live in a small town where I know everybody and everybody knows me. I love standing in line and being forced to make small talk with other villagers that, under normal circumstances, I would be hiding from or trying to avoid.

Sometimes I would time myself in order to see how quickly I could leave the house, vote and come back. My record was just over four minutes, and most of that was spent charming elderly poll workers.

Nobody loves elderly female poll workers more than I do. The reason is simple.

Most poll workers are older women, and older women usually have some form of hard candy to give me, be it peppermint or butterscotch. I’m telling you, if I was 50 years older, those ladies would be all over me like stink on a skunk, I just know it.

The one thing I detest about voting are those stupid “I Voted Today” stickers. You voted today? How noble of you. Thank you for exercising your only civic obligation, but nobody else cares. Why don’t I start wearing stickers stating the obvious, too, things like “I Ate Today” or “I Blinked Today.”

After all, what imbecile would refuse to perform a fundamental right like voting? I’ll tell you what imbecile — me!

And let me tell you why.

My new polling location is three miles away now, naturally, in the exact opposite direction as work. There will be no more walking to vote, and no more Election Day pajama pants. So to me the answer is clearly obvious. I’m no longer going to vote out of sheer laziness — like most people.

Another reason is because my new voting location is in the township building, which is adjacent to a brand-new cemetery. I’m under no delusion about my own mortality, and someday I will turn to the ripe old age of a poll worker and croak. When I do, I will be buried in that cemetery (and, ironically, I just know it’ll be under a tombstone with a period after the letter E in my name). That is a constant reminder of my death that I can do without.

Though I suppose having a voting precinct next to a cemetery is an appropriate enough analogy about life, where only two things are for certain: death and taxes.

But I don’t think my polling place changing will be enough to actually get me to stop voting. I can still take advantage of early voting and just mail my ballot in at the local post office.

Which just so happens to be located right next door to my house, too.

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