Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Not Politically Correct

After this post I assure you fine readers that I will get back to doing what I do best  - being ranty but only talking about things like whether the ship will be named Boaty McBoatface.

But today, after the way I spent the better part of my evening last night, I don’t feel I can sit here silent.

Please bear in mind this is all my OPINION so I honestly don’t care if you agree with me or not. Also, because that’s how I feel, I went back and forth on whether to allow comments or not. I’ve decided to leave them open.

However please note: I will not tolerate threats, hateful speak or other crap that attacks anyone. If comments like that are left here I’ll delete them without response or remorse. Disagreement, debate and conversation is what makes us grow as people so please say how you feel but don’t be a dick about it. Being a dick isn’t cool.

With all that taken care of, here’s my thoughts on yesterday’s Presidential Preference voting.

Three words come to mind:

Cry for help.

Okay, technically that last one is three words, not one, but truthfully I think it could be the most important point to consider. Let me tell you a little story about just what happened yesterday and you can decide for yourself.

I started the day as I usually do – writing a blog post. In that post I talked about being turned away at the 2012 Presidential election and how I would not let that happen this time around. Then I went about my day working on book 3 in my Shaw McLeary series and getting ready to go vote.

Matt gets home and says: “Not even closing the garage door.”

“Wait, you want to leave right now?”

“Yeah, lines are allegedly really long, like an hour wait.”

“Oh, well I’m hungry so can we at least stop and pick up some fries or something on the way?”


Thankfully we did. As we passed the polling place for our address on the way to get a quick dinner, I saw a line of at least 100 people and announced how happy I was we were getting dinner first.

Then, food in hand, we got to the church parking lot.

Because I’m blessed by the gods of parking we happened to find a spot as soon as we pulled in. That wasn’t the case for everyone even when they filtered into the overflow parking three buildings away. We approached what looked like the end of the line but I shook my head thinking it couldn’t be true.

Here’s where I’ll post pictures and tell you it is like the Grand Canyon. Unless you’re there in person there is no way to explain just how massive the thing really is. But I’ll still try.

Now that you’ve seen a sampling of the number of people, here’s a quick map I drew so you can understand why it took us 2 hours and 40 minutes (short compared to some reports I’ve heard by the way).

That pinkish-red line? Yes, that was the line you just saw in those pictures.

Before I continue I’d like to point out the following things:

  • Top left corner of the map is southeast.
  • Conversations took place all around us between people of all parties.
  • I heard zero political conversations while in line.
  • Electioneering only took place 4 times from what I saw and only for republicans.
  • Loud laughter erupted from other parts of the line at random, more than once.
  • Kids were running around the open spaces having fun.
  • We turned the 4th corner to face west along the parking lot after an hour+.
  • The sunset was beautiful.
  • The wind causing my earaches was not.
  • We had just reached the door to vote when the line-end-lady (who capped the line at 7PM) turned the 4th corner out of the driveway to face west along the parking lot.

It’s no secret that Arizona is a GOP state. We’re about as red as they get. It’s also no secret that I was born and raised in a state so blue they need a new word for liberal.

My political views and opinions may have been influenced in part by where I was raised. Which goes for anyone, anywhere. However, most of my views on the world, politics and the like can be summed up like this:

Because, and I’m being totally honest here, I really don’t care because I don’t think it matters very much anyway.

Yes I’m a woman, which brings up all kinds of arguments from people who think that means I should somehow magically want to participate in a totally fixed political system.

Defunding healthcare for women is happening, Suffragettes died for my rights to vote, if nobody voiced their opinion then what would happen to the world, blah, blah, blah…

In my opinion, I actually don’t think anything would happen. So many people in this country are fighting to protect the Constitution as it was written almost 229 years ago because of one simple fact:

People in power fear nothing like they fear change.

Change empowers larger masses. Change means the jig is up. Change means things actually, well, change, and if that happens then all the powers that be have to admit they’ve been suppressing the voices of the masses for hundreds of years.

So they use their worst nightmare against us.

They use fear to keep all of us in line. Three hour lines if you had the balls to stick it out.

Because, let’s talk for a second about that line. How many people do you suppose drove up to their voting location, took one look at the line and said “oh hell no!” and turned right back around, discouraged from voting yesterday?

Then there’s the other issue that only my current residence state could have pulled off. Voters (from what I understand these people were in both parties but primarily democratic) were turned away and told they were registered as independent when they had actually chosen a party affiliation on the only 2 sides accepted***.

Don’t even get me started on the fact that independents couldn’t come out to voice their preference yesterday, that’s another issue that makes me mental and question our entire system. But with that said, if you picked a side (yes 9 months before the election) and did so in time but still got turned away anyway without being given a provisional ballot, you just got the political equivalent of being roofied and raped.

And as far as I’m concerned they did that shit on purpose.

Whether it sounds like a conspiracy theory or not, people in Arizona who didn’t do early voting (having your ballot mailed to you, filling it out and either mailing in advance or dropping the night of preference voting) were given the sharp end of the knife last night.

Obviously nobody was forced to leave no matter how long the lines were.

Unless of course they had to get to work, school, bed, home to feed their kids, dinner, or a million other reasons why people shouldn’t be forced to stay on their feet for up to 5 hours. From all I heard and saw on the news it was like that ALL DAY from 6AM until whenever the last person filtered through the tiny building for their ballot.

And for what? After Matt and I stood in line for close to 3 hours here’s what happened.

I was handed a ballot, walked to a little booth thing, picked up the provided pen, and connected a small arrow (empty in the middle) designating the candidate of my choice. The line I had to draw was about ¼” long. The ballot went into the box and I went home.

I have no opinion on who you want to vote for, nor will I try to convince you to vote for who I want to vote for. The problem with yesterday’s debacle has to do with the voting itself.

What I am trying to say is that the whole thing just reminds me how very out of control the people really are and just how broken the entire system really is.

Because, yes, even though the ratio of ‘waiting’ to ‘doing’ was too high I was happy to have the chance to do something. And yes, it looked like extreme voter turnout because of the lines.

Just remember, the lines wouldn’t have been there and maybe just as many (more?) people would have gone to do their thing if the Recorder didn’t allow only 30% of the normal number of polling places to be opened for business.

Inadvertently (I hope) discouraging people from doing what they have the right to do is why I think the political system is at a turning point.

Like I said, the proverbial cry for help.

I just hope that enough people stand up and talk about it, fight for things to move away from the bullshit we’re being slung right now, and maybe for once the powers that be will forget their fears and embrace the changes that could actually help this country come together.

Because 229 years ago the world was a radically different place. We’ve moved ahead, grown and should be celebrating our advancements as a nation, not trying to take it back to 1787. We’ve moved so far past that. Haven’t we?

***I hear Green party was also okay but didn’t meet anyone in/voting in the party so can’t confirm if they were allowed to pick or turned away.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.


#1Nana said...

The election is still months away and I am tired of it already! We are lucky in Oregon to vote by mail. It's the only way to vote here, but it impacts the ability of some people to vote if they have no fixed address. I'd like to say that I was dazzled by your map...nice touch!

Joan said...

Early this morning I read that Arizona cut their polling places by 70% to save money. I thought.... What!!! Makes no sense what so ever!!!!

Launna said...

I am not used to how long political campaigning is since ours is so very short in Canada... sure we have less people but I find it incredibly hard to understand why it is so long... Even though I am Canadian, I have family in the US... I was trying to be informed, I have had to turn the TV off... I am exhausted from all the insanity. So good that you waited it out and voted Jenn... regardless if is makes a difference, you had your say xox

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks for commenting ladies!

We have mail-in here in AZ as well but I opted to go with Matt. Seeing as though it went pretty fast in 2012 it didn't seem like it would be an issue. So wrong! 70% cut is an accurate figure.

Having a say is definitely great but yes the commercials and mud slinging smear tactics make me crazy. I don't care what that one thinks of the other one, I want to know what that one will do for the country. Or at least try. Frustrating and tiresome to say the least!