Disenfranchised

“Now, ya got me pissed.”  A bit crude, but no other way to put it.  I have no idea where I heard this line spoken many years ago, but it sums up how I feel.  I could understand the closing of theaters and sports venues, where people are smushed in like sardines.  Ditto school closings—a necessary evil, even if it disrupts the curriculum for the year.  I’m not happy about not being able to grab a meal in one of my favorite restaurants, but I’ll deal, because my frustration is nothing compared with the loss of wages the service workers are suffering.  I get it that many offices are instructing staff to work from home wherever possible, and consider those employees lucky.  I applaud creative solutions like the one a local veterinarian is offering:  curbside service for pet pick-up and drop-off, along with prescription refills.  I understand that an animal shelter in Manhattan is allowing one-on-one meet and greets with potential adoptees, with applications to be completed online.  Overall, it could be a lot worse.

Then came the announcement on the late news last night that primary voting has been cancelled today in Ohio.  What???  Voting is one of the most important rights citizens have.  It’s our only real means of expressing an opinion to our leaders.  This year’s election will be a watershed in our country, determining whether the current regime will be able to continue trashing the environment, the Constitution, and the values we’re supposed to stand for.  The primary is a vital run-up to that election.  There has to be a way to handle the process while keeping the people safe.  Curbside balloting, anyone? 

The primary structure is insane as it is.  The staggered contests often result in a domino effect for some candidates.  Anybody remember Howard Dean?  A passionate, dedicated man on the rise, and his candidacy was tanked over a misunderstood shout in the first primary of the year.  After that, he was done.  Why should one state—and one which is not representative of the rest of the country’s population, at that—be a make-or-break proving ground for the entire election?  If all the primaries happened on the same day, problem solved; the playing field would be as level as possible.

But I digress.  As I write, there is no definite date for rescheduling the primary election.  Will it happen?  Can they just bypass Ohio?  What did they mean by, “We’ll find some way [eventually] for everyone to vote?”  I have no idea what the legalities are, but I do know that dragging out the process or inconveniencing citizens has historically favored the status quo; that is, incumbents.  My experience with local government doesn’t give me much faith that, if there is a solution at some point, it will be optimal.

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