". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Have Never Voted This Late In the Day Before

Except in my first years in NYC when I was working in law or real estate or financial offices, and voted after work.

The lines are endless. I've never seen lines this long before -- except when we voted in the bush-Kerry election in New Orleans.  That line was so long el V went out and got lunch for us and some friends we made in the line. (New Orleans went heavily for Kerry; it didn't help.  They stole it anyway.)  I don't think today's lines in my polling station are due to voters from other parts of New York, like Staten Island, that were devastated coming in. Governor Cuomo gave his permission that voters from these destroyed regions could vote at any polling place in New York State. Ferries and buses were chartered to bring in voters from Staten Island and Long Island and Queens.

It's also the first presidential election using the new ballot scanners. The old lever machines worked just fine. Now there's three steps you have to take, not two. Or maybe it's more than that even? Stand in line, find the line for your district to stand in. Then the line for your place in the alphabet for thay district. Then sign the book, get the ballot etc. Then go to the privacy booth and fill out the ballot. Then go to the scanner to scan your filled out ballot. At least there was no line for the last two steps, the filling out of the ballot and the scanning of the ballot.  But in a lot of places there were endless lines for both, and in some places the scanner broke down, and there was only one scanner, or none.  Whew!

Nevertheless, though it seemed endless, the whole process at our polling station was about an hour, maybe an hour and quarter. Another voter suppression tactic: make the voter stand in a line for hours and hours. The guy behind me kept threatening to give it up, except his wife would give him hell.

I'm hearing reports now, via the local public radio station, that there are huge problems at a lot of polling places. We also re-districted again because the rethugs were determined. Some polling places were combined -- one merging 9 districts -- making for today's chaos. Some are without power -- so, no scanning. Some have no heat -- temp's in the 30's. The lines everywhere are long.

There is much to be said for an organized, competent Board of Elections. Which, it seems, we in NYC do not have. Mayor Billionaire repeats, dumbfounded, "I keep hearing people say voting here is like voting in a third world country." Partly that's because of the old time party boss machine politics, which we don't have now. Now we have something else, though I haven't heard any inclusive noun description of it. Corporate, maybe? As a lot of corps ordered their employees to vote for Romney, since the court declared they can do that now. Still sounds third world to me.

One of the problems is a lack of trained election workers. At my place, one of them is a new election worker. She lives upstairs from me, and she did not get enough training.

Then -- there's another storm coming in tomorrow and Thursday, with snow. There are so many people homeless and it’s likely power will go out again in some places that just got it back.
Both Mayor Billionaire, President Obama and Governor Christie are so hoarse they croak. That they are plain exhausted is obvious.President Obama has to handle and delegate all of it.  Dealing with an on-going Catastrophe non-stop will do that (and campaigning as well for the President -- I am so glad he's young; an older guy just couldn't do this). The mayor is really not liking this storm coming in. He’s trying to figure out what to do with 40,000 suddenly homeless in Manhattan alone, among other things.
One has noticed that Romney’s got no hoarseness. Imagine how he'd handle this Catastrophe?  One does not forget that neither did Bush's or Giuliani's voices suffer during the ongoing 9/11 disaster. Bush never lost any sleep over either 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.

1 comment:

Foxessa said...

El V voted sometime between 7 and 8 PM. The lines were shorter. It took him about a half hour or 40 minutes. Something like that.

Significantly less time than it took me.

When ML went to vote at 7:10 AM the lines were long even that early.