October 2004


It’s November here.

Well, I’ve done it.

I have done the most important civic thing I can possibly do this fall-too bad it doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things, but I have taken the time to vote.

I have also fulfilled an earlier pledge this fall to not vote for one Republican under any circumstance, which meant that I didn’t vote for the Monroe County Treasurer-the only option was a Republican, and that I voted for the fag-hating, pro-life nut case who calls herself a Democrat running for State Representative Peggy Welch. (I voted against her the last time I could do so.)

Absentee voting from Europe isn’t without its amusing aspects.

I happen to have great faith in the Monroe County, Indiana, election officials because I think they actually do want each and every vote counted-four years ago they posted a list of write-in candidates in the voting booth so that we could have a chance of spelling the candidate’s names correctly if we wanted to write in the names. This, to me, was a very positive sign (Although I suspect if you were to read my description of being an election judge a couple years ago, you might change your opinion.).

However, upon reading the directions for voting I had a problem. I was able to fill-in the bubble sheet recording my votes and do everything required on the instruction sheet, except one key step, and I quote:

If voting absentee by mail – insert your voted ballot card into the security shield. Place these items into the affidavit envelope. Sign in INK and seal this envelope, and deposit for return mail into a United States Post Office Mailbox.

Oh yes–is that the one down on the corner?


I decided I could probably ignore this instruction-or if it was actually to be taken seriously, I will have wasted my vote and 1,55€ on postage.

Next, I examined the envelope, and on the back the affidavit was clearly written for overseas voters: I had to sign that I was a US Citizen in the merchant marine, working overseas temporarily, or overseas for some other reason. Easy enough statement to be signed, including, as I recall, a statement that I hadn’t been influenced.

(Influenced? Of course I?ve been influenced! I’ve watched my country, and others, get flushed down the toilet during the last four years, how could I not have been influenced? Besides, aren’t elections and politics about influence? Who has it and who doesn’t?!)

I turned over the envelope, applied two stamps that equaled 1,55€ and then read the mailing address. Maybe I have just thrown my vote away, because, believe it or not, on the envelope specifically designated for overseas voters, I had to get out my pen once more.

You see, the last line of the address read “Bloomington, IN 47404”

I wrote in “United States of America” below that and put it in the mailbox.

I hope my vote counts.

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