I didn't vote -- 03/03/04

Rhode Island had a primary on Tuesday and I didn't vote.... so if Kerry wins the nomination I guess it will be my fault.

In R.I. if you are an unaffiliated voter you can sign up with a party on primary day, cast your ballot in that party's primary, and then disaffiliate from that party on your way out.

I was going to vote for Lieberman. (He was the only one of the ones on the ballot here that I could imagine ever actually voting for in an election -- not saying that I would ever vote for him in a real election, just that I couldn't imagine voting for any of the others.) But Nancy didn't feel well and went straight to bed when she came home from work. I was working from home and sometimes when I do that I really get into what I'm doing and put in long days and end up not having time for a workout... so as evening descended I figured I could either go and cast a mischievous but meaningless primary vote or I could get in a workout -- so I went down into the basement and rode an exercise bike for forty minutes and then ran a mile on the treadmill.

I think I made the right choice but I feel a little bit funny about not voting.

By the way, I think those electronic touch screen voting machines are a terrible idea -- they have been shown to be unreliable and there are significant concerns about a secure audit trail. We use an optical scan machine -- you are given a paper ballot, go into a private booth with a curtain to mark the ballot with a black marker, then you feed it into a machine that scans it and records the vote and the paper goes into a locked container in the machine so that if there is any question about the results, the locked container can be opened and the physical paper ballots can be counted.

Marking a paper ballot is so easy that I would bet that even many residents of Florida might be able to cast a vote without screwing up.

I don't know who I will vote for in November -- last time I voted for the Libertarian candidate -- I didn't like Bush, have never been fond of Nader, and totally loathed Gore -- so I sort of said "none of the above." If you had asked me a year ago I would have said Bush simply because of the war, but his cutting taxes without budget cutting, his idiotic senior drug program (don't acuse me of "senior bashing" -- I'm fairly close to being a senior citizen myself), Cheney, the Patriot Act, etc. were beginning to get to me -- and now this obscene pandering to the extremist religious right by threatening to pervert the Constitution. I've been willing to overlook a lot that I didn't like because of the war (not just Iraq, I mean the entire fight since we were attacked on 9/11) -- but this gay marriage fight may be the last straw for me. It's not simply that I think that gay marriage is right and proper, it's that this proposed federal marriage amendment is screwing around with the Constitution for petty political reasons. It is a violation of the concept of states' rights. It is an unreasonable expansion of federal intrusion into private matters. It is an attempt to codify bigotry and denial of basic human rights into the Constitution itself, the very document whose first ten amendments contain our Bill of Rights. As a conservative I am horrified at the thought of perverting the Constitution like this. As a libertarian I am horrified at such denial of basic human rights.

If the Democratic Party were to nominate a candidate who could take a principled stand in support of saving the Constitution from this perversion and who was willing to take a stand in favor of the basic right to marriage for everyone and who seemed capable of putting the safety and security of the American people above pandering to those gasbag kleptocrats at the United Nations, I'd vote for that candidate with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the Democrats seem to be about to nominate Kerry. Yeah, like Al Gore without the charm and charisma.

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