Stevieslaw: My Voices of Central PA. June Article

The LAGuide to Voting in America

At Stevieslaw, publisher of the Less-intelligent- than- average American Guides (LAG), we recognize that many Americans do not vote. The statistics from the mid-term elections are staggering. In Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett took the governorship by a margin of eight votes—31 to 23, while Pat Toomey won in a near shut-out, 8 to 1.  Glenn Thompson was apparently able to elect himself, as nothing else can explain it. Corbett confided to Smokey Diamond, our intrepid reporter, that the reason for his victory was his ability to convince his cousin’s club to vote for him en-masse, at a dinner he hosted at the Olive Garden in Altoona.  The twelve student dominated districts in State College produced only one vote, a guy named Marvin who accidentally wandered into a polling booth next to a local bar—and, in the process, elected Scott Conklin.  In this week’s primary election, the voting record was even worse, as the number of candidates for one local school board was twice as large as the actual vote. 

LAG realizes this is not just a local issue.  Recall that the TV show Jeopardy frequently has as one of its categories, “Americans Who Voted.” Nationally, the cost per vote is a staggering $1,000,037 and change.

LAG is proud to announce its new guide, “How to Vote in America,” which will be out in time for the 2012 election.  LAG went about the development of this guide in the kind of rational manner that, say, the Discovery Institute brings to Science. To do this, we interviewed as many as six typical Americans as they walked past the polling booth, without voting, on Election Day. We found that the interviewees had myriad reasons for not voting.  Among them:

  1.       Friday is a hectic day for me. Why don’t they make it on Tuesday?
  2.       I’m too busy. The ads for the candidates have me riveted to the TV
  3.       It’s too confusing. There are too many candidates for too many offices.
  4.       The ballot has more than one page. It would take me hours to read through it.
  5.       I tried it once, but couldn’t get the hang of it. Punch cards, scanned ballots, computer screens—it makes my head spin.
  6.       My uncle says that if I register to vote they will call me for jury duty at least once a week.  Why would I want to serve on a jury?

Now in the LAG guide, we will take you through the entire voting process from start to finish.  And, as a reward for your hard work, LAG is pleased to announce that your name will be added to an honor roll of those who voted, which is to be continuously scrolled during the finales of both American Idol and Dancing with the Stars! And remember, this is a LAGuide.  Very little is required of you.

In the guide or the handy interactive CD:

  1.       We provide a five question true/false quiz to determine your voting preference—birther, deather, tea partier, socialist, republican, democrat or independent (not recommended).  With any luck, you can vote “straight ticket,” and be out of the polling place in seconds. 
  2.       We provide the forms to register, and if necessary Smokey Diamond will literally walk you through the process.
  3.       Don’t know what a Prothonothary does?  Or even if what we’ve written here is spelled correctly? Don’t sweat it! We don’t either. In the guide, we dispel the myth that knowledge of the duties of any elected position is a requirement for voting.  The LAGuide ranks each of the positions—local through national—by salary; that is, in a way all Americans can understand.
  4.       We carefully explain the procedures and pitfalls of voting in your precinct.  Worried about hanging chads or incompletely filled in boxes? The guide will provide you with complete voting instructions and dozens of sample pages that you can practice on at your leisure. What fun!
  5.       We provide complete interactive directions to your polling place set up as the game “hot, warm, cold.”  Entertain yourself while finding the hidden polling place you have been driving or walking past on the way home from work for the last 20 years.
  6.       Still not convinced?  Put the CD in and the voice of your mother, saying over and over again—“you can’t complain, you brought it on yourself”—will play until you display an “I Voted,” sticker.

We, at the Guide, admonish you to listen to your mother.  Vote and then complain about our elected officials—let’s make it our new national pastime.

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