Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night in New Mexico

As the US election night proceeds, I reflect on the fact that it may be some weeks before the most important results are known. In fact, ballots haven't even been printed and mailed because the Rio Grande Sailing Club is still looking for a willing and able vice commodore candidate.

Oh, as for that OTHER election -- it's been a strange election season, and the ever-increasing negative campaigning has been a huge turn-off. It was a challenge in some races to find candidates for whom I could vote and my ballot had a bit of a "snake wake" of choices made or unmade given what was available in our region from the two major parties.

Carol Anne was slightly inconvenienced today due perhaps to small-scale dirty politics. Our precinct was voting in the eastern third of the local elementary school library; just ahead of Carol Anne were three young adults who may have been voting in their first presidential election. She said they looked like they'd stepped out of the cast of "The Matrix".

There was a snafu. A young woman had moved from Rio Rancho to our neighborhood earlier this year. Conveniently, a community organizer was available to re-register her, so she filled in a new voter registration form so she could vote in her new precinct.

But, her voter registration was never turned in and so she would have to drive 45 minutes back to her old precinct, and 45 minutes back, plus waiting and voting time. The organization that had taken her voter registration and then failed to turn it in to the county clerk's office? ACORN. The young woman's stated party affiliation? Republican. Hmmmm...... Of course, it could have been an oversight or incompetence instead of deliberate malicious criminal conduct, but something doesn't smell quite right here.

Oh yes, New Mexico is a state that has a candidate for statewide office who was just fined for campaign irregularities, but still has a very good chance of winning the election. We don't even have laws to exclude convicted felons or attorneys from office. And, also bad, at least a third of the seats in the state legislature are uncontested in this election.

Driving around the university neighborhood, I saw Obama signs in about twenty or thirty places, and a McCain signs in only one home. The solitary Republican of Lead Boulevard, who lives just a few yards from the "Center for Peace and Justice" and a graphics shop that sells "peace" and "Che Guevara" signs (Make Up Your Mind Which!), must feel rather besieged. There was even an Obama sign embedded in the asphalt of University Boulevard (in the actual pavement, not behind the curb), adjacent to a construction area, and Obama supporters waving signs at several intersections, with signs telling drivers to honk. Between the honking cars and the non-stop telephone robo-calls, this election's been a rackety one.

Cute snarky bumper sticket seen today:
Somewhere in Chicago,
A Community Is Missing Its Organizer

Such is life. Now where can we find a good vice commodore candidate, preferably one who doesn't make long dumb speeches or shoot wolves from hovering sailboats?



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