Vote or Die mofos – Got the Jimmy Legs

Vote or Die mofos

Which end will I be on this time

We went to our polling place this morning, fearing long lines and difficult-to-grok voting apparatus. But not only were the machines working fine and easy to understand, there was no line. Like, at all.

As you may know, your average polling location is split up into a number of "election districts" which determine how many actual voting booths there are. Your address somehow determines which election district you are in. So we're in front of our booth, with no one else. All around us, every other district had fairly long lines, some prohibitively long. Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, we voted and got the hell out of there. But I gotta say, it looked a little weird.

Not to put too fine a point on it, we were pretty much the whitest people in the room. The only other white guy was filling out a provisional ballot … for our election district. It would not be hard to look at this scene and assume the palefaces had some kind of elevated status (like how first class passengers get to go through airport security faster). In short, on this historic day, we looked like the poster kids for White Privilege.

Now, I know that couldn't really be the case, but try looking up 'election district maps' and see what you find: Dick. What the hell is an election district? Anyway I eventually found them on some of the maps of other districts. Here (with a little inference) you can see that election districts are very small subdistricts, in my case 3 consecutive blocks. But more tellingly, my district is actually part of a larger Assembly district whose borders make me a part of Ocean Hill; we're just over the line by one block. Odd then, that my voting location is squarely in Bushwick, since many other designations include us with other neighborhoods. Who knows, but what it means is me and my 3-block radius vote in our own special bubble. Still, 3 blocks in this neighborhood is still a whole lot of people. (I'm sure they're all planning to vote when they get home from work.)

And it doesn't stop there, take a look at the Congressional District maps as well, it gives gerrymandering a bad name. You'd think that districts would be more or less blob-shaped, a circle or influence, or a square. But no, my district is a weird multi-pronged affair, covering several neighborhoods and spanning ridiculously-varied socioeconomic strata. Seems suspect, in any case. Forgive me if I seem cynical and paranoid, it's just been a long time since I voted and it felt like it mattered.

Rock the vote or else I'm gonna stick a knife through your eye

I've been paranoid about the election for a variety of reasons. But the only one I had any control over was where I'm voting. I never changed my registration from my old address, so I mailed in the form a few months ago. But I never received confirmation of any kind, which wouldn't have bugged me if my girlfriend hadn't received 2 separate confirmations of her registration. So for many moons now I've been mildly concerned that properly voting would entail dragging myself halfway across town back to the old neighborhood.

Just when I was about to break down and call the Board of Elections, the Internet comes through like a champ with an online form that allows me to find out where I'm voting without having to really do anything strenuous. Like, you know, talking to someone on the phone.

Anyway, if anybody else is out there suffering in silence, here's a link to the voter lookup in New York (also here's a poll locator). Now I can go back to worrying about the possible results of this election, and whether or not America is still as dumb as it has been for the last decade or so. *shudder*