Monday, February 27, 2006

Elections and Parties

I signed up today to serve as an election judge, since I own my own business and can take a weekday away from work, and since I just adore participating in the substantive business of democracy. I woohoo'd after I voted in 2004, because it was the first time I'd voted NOT absentee, and I was psyched to get to go in the little booth and VOTE!

The county Election Commission asked, "Are you a Republican or a Democrat?"

"Neither."

"Well you have to be one or the other to volunteer."

"Um ... Democrat?"

I read up on the Election Commission and I understand that they want to ensure fair elections by having a strictly bipartisan staff of election judges, so there's no political-party monkey business. But I think that's the problem: it's strictly bipartisan. Minor-party voters apparently can't work as election judges unless they "declare" Republican or Democrat temporarily, and voters like myself, who are informed and excited about the issues, but disgusted with the two mainstream parties and feel alienated from both and so don't belong to a party can't judge unless we pick one.

Doesn't that seem a little out of whack?

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