Sunday, February 3, 2008

Nineteen minutes to vote

While in Costco the other day, I saw a book called "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. I didn't buy it, nor have I read it, but the title got me thinking. Here is my slightly altered version of the book's intro:

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, or watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist. You can fold laundry, dust the bookshelves, or wash the dishes ... It's the length of a half-hour sitcom minus the commercials ...

In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk a mile. You can select a button from the button-drawer and sew it on that coat with the vital missing button which has been letting in all the cold winter air.

In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can VOTE!

Yes! In most places, that's all it takes -- nineteen minutes to vote!

Super Tuesday is February 5th. Twenty-two States will be voting: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and UTAH.

Even with so many democratic delegates at stake on this one day, the likely democratic nominee will still be unknown until later in February or March. The republicans, on the other hand, will most likely emerge from Super Tuesday knowing their nominee, and can therefore proceed to line up behind him beginning their presidential campaign in earnest.

Click here to see the 2008 primary calendar. This site also has other interesting information on campaign fundraising, expenditures, donors and demographic statistics.

A Chinese Proverb is quoted at the beginning of "Nineteen Minutes":

"If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going."

Take a look at this map. Notice anything odd? (click on the image to get the full-size effect). That's the kind of change I'm talking about! A world turned topsy-turvy, an inverse universe, a bizarro world. We need to change direction NOW. We can't just stand by, watching the end, complaining that we have no power, but doing nothing.

Really, what else can you do in nineteen minutes that will make as much difference as voting? Even if it takes a little longer than nineteen minutes in your area, JUST DO IT! This is your country! Don't make lame excuses afterwards. If we turn out to vote IN FORCE, nothing can stop us! Overwhelming numbers of voters can overcome electronic bias and even overturn entrenched power.

Feel free to leave me a list of other things that can be done in nineteen minutes. Go ahead, be risque! But remember how quickly nineteen minutes passes when you're having fun.

26 comments:

Cart said...

Onya red! Great message. Though if I could only walk a mile in 19 mins I would be a bit pissed off.

D.K. Raed said...

Cart: you obviously do not have a couple old dogs walking with you who have to stop & smell every few steps. Not today though -- we've got ice & snow in da 'hood, our first all winter -- so, no dog walks.

dada said...

Obviously, Jodi Picoult's never tried to vote as a democrat in Ohio.

D.K. Raed said...

alas, Dada, Jodi did not say you could vote in 19-minutes. That was MY alteration of her intro. I was only thinking of the amount of time it takes to sign in, show ID, and vote ... not the interminable lines at *some* polling places. Funny how those places seem to congregate in poor urban areas or college campuses or anyplace that is more likely to vote dem. Almost as if ...

D.K. Raed said...

Here's something else you can do in 19-minutes: Listen to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant". The song is 18-minutes (same as the infamous missing segment of Nixon's watergate tapes), but by the time you find it & set it up to play, I think you're looking at 19-minutes!

Oh but everyone has heard that song over and over. Here's a later Arlo, "In My Darkest Hour" & it's only 3.5 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHi8dcdAwqI

Cart said...

I seem to recall daylan's Sad Eyed lady of the lowlands was just short of 19 mins too.

D.K. Raed said...

I think you're right, Cart. I loved that song to death. Joan Baez had a good version, too. She could hit the high notes that Dylan wrote, but could not sing.

Cart said...

You know, every bloke, being honest, can talk about the first great crush. I don’t have a problem that it was Baez. Funny thing, I never hear a Baez version of this, but always felt it was a song to her.
Now you’ve made me go to youtube to hear it again…
Roll back the years!

D.K. Raed said...

Cart, you know Baez always thought it was a song about her, too. But then she thought almost every early Dylan song was about her (maybe they were?) and Dylan NEVER tells!

I just looked on YouTube, but couldn't find the Baez version. It was definitely on her "Any Day Now" album. BTW, esteemed husband also had big crush on Joan, in his college days. Can't hold it against you guys, since I had more than a crush on Dylan. Ever see his "Don't Look Back" docu-movie from his tour of England in the 60's? Baez is in there, too.

Cart said...

I wish I could find the album cover – shades of Buffy Saint Marie’s lady ‘Piny Woods’ feeling. The cover won me then, but to this day I go to water when I her version of Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras. Not on youtube either
I hate to sound like an old fogey, but thee was such a brilliant sweep of genre then, an artistry that is hard to find now in that wicked modern music. I still maintain that Baez’ high notes were more pure than Callas, Victoria De Los Angeles, Tiri Te kanawa (who I also adore) et al.

enigma4ever said...

Oh this is a great post....Cart - I love Buffy- I have not heard her in years...you can find her on YouTube...wow...

oh, back to the post...

I LOVE this....so powerful....19 Minutes to do Something so good for our country...

( although the past times I have voted it took hours....2000 Gore Vote that vanished I waited in a line for 3 hours....Ca. 2004- Vote for Kerry, 2 hours......Ohio Nov2006 - 2hours......BUT today FINALLY MY VOTER CARD CAME _YAHOOOOO...this it the first time that I have had my card mailed to me since 1999- FINALLY.....WOW)

I have a new post up about Voting.....but I know everybody is still shunning me because of my Obama support.....ce la vie...This is a Moment in OUR history....

enigma4ever said...

DK:
sorry...that sounded alomost snippy....VOTING should only take 19 minutes...really....that is all it should take....it should be so Simple...

Thanks for this post......

D.K. Raed said...

Cart: there is a lot of Buffy on YouTube, so you should do good there. I hate to say it, but I think you are right about the music in that certain era. Sheer poetry! There is a whole different feel today, not necessarily bad or worse, just different. And yes, Baez could hit those high notes so perfectly, all the more amazing because she never had a formal voice lesson. Like many of her covers, I think her version Biko was better than the original Peter Gabriel due to the emotional tonal quality of her voice.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma: You got your voter card--yeaayyyy!!! Something must be working right, huh? Now if only we could get that standing in line time down. I'm going to time it tomorrow (Feb 5) to note the overall time from first arrival to departure. And also the actual time spent just signing in, showing ID & voting. 2006 was not a good test since we "early voted".

Are you seriously being "shunned" for Obama support? That blows my mind! I wish more people displayed the passion & commitment you are showing for whichever candidate they support. Apathy kills.

D.K. Raed said...

In 19-minutes I can blow-dry my hair and put on my make-up. In 19-minutes I can brush my teeth, get dressed & find my voter ID. In 19-minutes I can drive both to & from my voting place. In 19-minutes I can change the world!

Fran said...

Since Oregon changed to Vote by mail only... I can fill in my vote ballot, ride my bike down to the park with the dedicated ballot box & avoid using a stamp, having to rely on the post office to actually deliver my vote, get exercise, and change the world. Just have to wait till May 20th or thereabouts.

There goes Dada again cracking me up with his witty one liners. I am surprised angry villagers did not show up with torches and pitchforks to avenge the Diebold electronic voting machines that caused hours of waiting & multiple malfunctions in Ohio. Maybe Ohio should adopt Iraq's technique, and go to the paper ballot, purple ink on a finger method?

Anyway, I have to rely on Amerikka to vote properly so that I have an opportunity to vote for a decent candidate. Ugh! That leaves me with an uneasy feeling.

Dual citizenship in Canada is starting to really appeal to me.

enigma4ever said...

In Ohio..I voted in 2006..that was my first vote here ( and it was a trip) that is a story for another day ....( it is about CAGED voting in 2004)

2000 I voted in Wash State-
OUR Votes Vanished I learned in a ACLU Lawsuit ( hundreds from my neighborhood- I learned THAT in 2004)

2004- I voted in California- and there were huge lines....early 2005 I moved to Lake Erie Land...sigh....

BUT this is my first VOTE card since 1999....

I have voted in every election since I was 18 ALWAYS.....and every time I move- the first things I do- I get a library card..and register to Vote...no matter what....

Good luck tomorrow...

TomCat said...

Dada, what I comment! Ohio 2004 was one of the worst disenfranchisements in history.

DK, I'd love to follow your advise, but my primary is not until 5/20.

Off topic: I added you to my blogroll. Sorry it took so long.

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: I know you are anxious to vote but have to wait until May. The consolation is you get bonus delegates for doing so! The problem is those bonus delegates won't mean a lot if the nominee has already been decided, but perhaps they will be useful in hammering out the dem platform at the convention.

I like your description of voting by mail with YOU as the actual postal carrier! And boy-oh-boy if we get sniffs of diebold crapola this time, I DO expect pitchforks & torches. Of one thing I am sure, the entrenched powers have already worked up many other surprises, they won't be counting (?) solely on electronic wizardry.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma:
sorry I didn't get back here last night. This headcold is a strength-zapper. You are a true patriot! Too many people give up when they encounter voting obstacles. A Voter Card is a precious thing that is too often taken for granted. When we last moved (couple yrs ago), we got library cards, voter reg, and PASSPORTS right away. Sorry to say, we felt passports might be the most necessary.

Tomcat:
You have the same problem as Fran there in Oregon ... which might put you in the position of casting a disgruntled vote if the nominee has already been decided by May. I'll be thinking of you all at the polls today -- I'm timing myself to see exactly how long the actual voting process takes.

ps, thanks for the blogroll add! I have been totally lazy about doing one & now that I'm having comment trouble here, I may just set up a whole new blog & start over fresh. See, sometimes procrastination works out!

D.K. Raed said...

**********
I've already posted most of this at Engima's, but wanted to also update & expand on my voting experience today here:

OK, so you might've known I timed it here in UT. 10-minutes to drive to the poll. 5-minutes to walk in, wait in a short line & find out it is the wrong poll. They were very polite, my neighborhood poll had moved to the NEXT bldg over.

There was one woman ahead of me in line. She is registered as "unaffiliated" (just like me, but she obviously had not read the rules). When they told her she had to declare a party affiliation to receive the proper ballot, she almost flipped. What is the purpose of being unaffiliated, she asked? The very sweet older pollworker explained how a primary works in Utah. The woman, in a very irritated voice, then declared herself "republican". HAH! I knew what would happen next. I almost flinched when they told her she would have to register as a republican (on the spot) to get the repub ballot. The woman grabbed the registration form & yelled "This is B.S." & stormed off. I pointed out to her she could vote democrat right then without having to register. I did not let her withering look melt the big smile on my face.

OK, my turn next! I give them my name, they look it up & see I'm unaffiliated & ask me to affiliate with dem or repub. I say Dem. They are shocked (the horror)! They were right in the midst of pulling out the Repub registration form when their ears do a double take.

Really, a Dem? The room falls quiet. Pollworkers stop their fussing with lists & forms. People coming in the door behind us are suddenly confused that they might be in the wrong place. Somewhere, a pin drops. I feel like I just ordered tofu at the carnivore buffet. The pollworker's shaky hand has to mark a big "D" by my name in the rollbook (the only one on that particular page -- husband is behind me, next in line).

"DEMOCRAT" (said loudly & with a ring of incredibility), here's your Dem KeyCard. They lead me to a machine (I forgot to notice the mfr). I insert the keycard, vote Obama, press "print ballot" & watch it print out & pass into the guts of the machine. Then I press "cast vote" & that's that. All done, remove card, hand it back to pollworker. Less than 10-minutes since I walked in the correct poll place, I am out of there!

One concerning thought I had afterwards was how many people did NOT watch the printed ballot (it moves pretty fast on a roll alongside the machine), OR how many people did not actually press "cast ballot", thinking they were done after they first touched a candidate's name. In fact, this was exactly what husband (on machine in front of mine) tried to do, until I told him, as I quickly passed by, to be sure to press "cast ballot" at the end.

As we leave, I note there are now 3 people in line to vote & each one is having to confront the party affiliation issue. Too bad, so sad, repubs make you register on the spot, while dems just let you vote according to the dictates of your own conscience. It is an evil design by the Repubs to force an unaffiliated voter to register as a repub, which can only be undone by re-registering 30-days later (up to 30-days before the next election date). How many unaffiliated Utah voters will even realize that is what they have done today? That they are now officially Repubs? Which party consistently comes up with these underhanded methods, hmmmm?

If I had gone straight home afterwards, the total time elapsed would've been 35-minutes! There is definitely an advantage to small town voting. (of course, I did not go straight home, I ran errands & ended up at Red Lobster for dinner, where there might not be tofu, but red-meat carnivores are are as rare as utah democrats)

**********

As of 9PM PST: In UTAH ...
Obama 52%; Clinton 41%

In Idaho (next door soul-mate state) ...
Obama 81%; Clinton 15%

Too bad these states are considered the reddest in the U.S. so that a democratic presidential candidate in the general election stands less chance of winning those states than winning the super powerball lottery.

Anon-Paranoid said...

Let me see if I can come up with a nineteen minute limit.

You can start by Waterboarding Der Fuhrer Adolph Bush followed by the Dark Lord Dick Heinrich Himmler Cheney and than proceed with the next 17 Top Level Cabinet Members and have confessions of War Crimes and Treason in nineteen minutes since it takes less than a minute to get them to confess.

I think that does it, don't you?

God Bless.

D.K. Raed said...

LOL, Anony-P: if we lined them all up together & commenced waterboarding at the same time, what would we do with the other 18-minutes & 50-seconds? These "tough" guys who propound torture are almost the first to crack. Good to see you out again!

TomCat said...

I did that in 2004, Red. Kerry was already a shoe in so I voted for my friend's cat. Unfortunately, the cat lost.

D.K. Raed said...

Tomcat, your revelation just reminded me that in the 2004 CA primaries, I voted for Edwards even though he had already dropped out & melded with Kerry. Believe me, I thought long & hard about doing the same thing this time since Edwards is still on the ballot. (sorry about your friend's cat, he would've probably ran a better campaign)

TomCat said...

He could not have run a worse one. :-(