Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Election Day

What should have been a simple process, turned into Star Wars. I opened an account with for their 30 day trial period, but my credit card was on the line for another month's service if we went beyond that. I had multiple reminders in my Google calendar to end the service. From the 15th, I have been receiving faxes with ballots. After opening each one, I had to print them. One person faxed his same ballot twice in the same fax. Others faxed two ballots in one fax, but since I did not catch it right away, I had to go back and check all seventeen faxes to make sure nothing was missed. When a fax only contained a note stating they would fax the ballot later in the day, I wanted to strangle them for wasting my time. The shut off time was 3:00 pm today. At 3:05, the Democrats Abroad International computer support person released the e-mails from the voting e-mail address. I had to open all of those, even if they did not contain a ballot just to verify the contents. There were twenty-two of them. The International has a ruling that all ballots have to be signed. Not having a secret ballot, caused quite an uproar, but it was clearly stated on the ballot that an unsigned ballot would be discarded and not counted. We received one in an e-mail where the person e-mailed the ballot in the body of the e-mail, contrary to instructions that it had to be printed out, filled in, signed, and scanned as an attachment. Armed with the ballots received, we went to the meeting. One of my committee was there signing everyone in, where we had to show a passport or picture ID. This is the first time I had met anyone on my committee; after three attempts at arranging a meeting, I threw in the towel. Ron was running for Member-At-Large along with three others for two positions. After the opening of the meeting, each nominee had three minutes to give a short ditty about why they should be elected. The rules were announced. After I passed out the ballots and collected them, the Nom Committee would split into two groups with one additional non-partisan person in each group. First, broken into two groups with me in the middle, each group checked off names from the membership list as I read them off of the ballots. Only one ballot was from a non-member and had to be discarded. This was also to prevent anyone from voting via fax or e-mail and again in person. All ballots were checked for signatures. One group would count the fax and e-mail votes while the other group counted the in-person votes. We marked each vote as it was counted with a different color pen to make sure each group had counted it. When each group was done, they would switch piles and continue counting. At the end, we compared numbers for agreement. Our 'friend' Michael who had promised to come to the meeting, never showed up. He had grave concerns about having to sign the ballot since his university thesis advisor was running for Chair. Ron lost by one vote, raising my ire with Michael's inability to be a man and not a rat. When the results were read out, there were glad tidings and major disappointments all around. The woman who ran unopposed for secretary and received 50 votes, called for a recount since the Chair position was won by only a three point lead. I sprayed her with my most potent laser beam killing force stare while asking "Are you for real?" No one seconded her motion, so it was dropped. It had already been two hours of agony; everyone wanted to make like Casper the ghost and disappear. We arrived home, opened the front door and found our jailbird mural artist standing in the hallway waiting for us.

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