Today I did my civic duty and voted. I worried that if I did not cast my secret ballot, Arnold would personally come to my home and governate me. I had just seen him in “Commando” only a week before and had no interest in being governated. (Is it wonderful or bizarre to be able to see your governor fighting aliens, being aliens, being pregnant… on television while he is in office?) When I walked into the polling area I danced a jig of joy as the old cardboard seclusion booths had been replaced by new fancy schmancy electronic dealy-bobs.
With extreme confidence I stroll up to the volunteers (with my hideous Robespierre mustache (more to come as to why I has dawned such facial hair)) and declared my name. I signed at the line and was then re-directed to a second station where life was all electronics and wires and not just pen and paper.
This second lady typed in some info on her machine and this machine spit out an “access code” for me. In my head I am fairly confident that the access code tells the voting machine where I live and what party I am affiliated to so it knows the proper national and municipal questions to ask me. However, in my heart I am convinced this is some sort of fascist conspiracy designed to track all voters so that evil regimes may ensure their electoral supremacy…men in full riot gear and night-vision goggles descending onto my roof to snuff me and my non-conforming vote…you know the feeling.
My cat like curiosity to try the new voting machines trumps my conspiracy fears and I make my way into the futuristic booth that is built for people vastly shorter than me. (Now I am sure that the government has a secret program to weed out tall people and preparations are already underway.) The voting machine looked like a giant PDA, like a PlaySchool My First PDA. It had four buttons: Last, Next, Enter and Cast Vote, and a scrolling toggle. The Cast Vote button was the only button in red to let the voter know “DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!” Once you hit that button it is all over. There is a little president in all of us just dying to press The Button.
I had a moment of panic after I finished the first page of questions. For whatever reason, I could not figure out how to get to the next page. I realize now that the “Next” button was the obvious choice, but my head was already filled with conspiracy theories and classic lines from Schwarzenegger movies. But in that moment of panic, all I could think was, “How embarrassing!!! Multimedia and User Interfaces are my business and I can’t figure out how to move on! The old lady next to me who can’t use email is cruising through this. OH, for shame!” But then I saw the Next button and all was calm once again.