Who among us, after casting her ballot for the big dogs like President, Vice President, senators, and congressional officials, has not at some point in her life gone down the rest of the ballot and made her voting choices for people like County Coroner based on an elaborate system of “I don’t like the sound of this guy’s name?”
If I’m not familiar with either candidate and one is a woman, I will always vote for the woman, unless her name is “Shannon.” The only thing that trumps a woman (and this happens very rarely) is a Lithuanian. Hell, it could even be a Latvian or an Estonian.
Now, if both obscure candidates are men, I will vote for the guy who sounds like an underdog. These are people with weird ethnic names or surnames like “Roach” and “Snodgrass.” I will never vote for someone who has too many middle initials or a “III” after his surname. Some people I simply cannot vote for because they might be related to someone who was mean to me in grade school.
Recently I found out that voting is not like a test and you are allowed to bring a cheat sheet into the booth with you. So when I showed up at my usual polling location on Saturday morning to cast an early ballot, I was brandishing a giant laminated list of voting guidelines recommended by the American Medical Association.
Unfortunately, I was at the wrong polling place and instead of early voting, there was a flea market going on there. Once I realized this, I tried to make like I always carry a giant laminated voting cheat sheet when I go thrifting, but a couple of ladies at the front table saw me before I could shove it in my purse and when we locked eyeballs, I knew they were on to me.
I don’t know why I was so embarrassed. (Maybe because if I had checked the Board of Elections website, I would have known there’s only one place in the entire county where you can cast an early ballot and it’s nowhere near where I live.) So instead of voting for the leader of the free world, I bought a bagful of vintage costume jewelry.
But don’t worry, I will keep on trying.
Good luck in that booth on Tuesday. It can be pretty daunting.Subscribe to the blog. (It's free!)