This voter felt besieged by candidates when he went to the polls to vote
I agree with the sentiments expressed in your columns about half the time…but, I always read them – a mark of a good writer no doubt! I had to write you after witnessing what I considered to be a real assault on my (admittedly delicate) sensibilities and those of every other citizen attempting to vote at a certain polling place in Roanoke County on Tuesday, the 8th.
Along with the typical annoying clutter of campaign signs – to which we’ve all been subjected to for the past month or so – I was somewhat surprised to see two candidates for the same position in Roanoke County standing approximately five feet apart both eagerly thrusting their hands forward seemingly for me to shake – under the apparent mistaken assumption that this last minute personal appeal for my vote would magically sway my decision. My immediate thought was – my God, haven’t we been subjected to enough of their visages on television, ads in the mail and yard signs – do they have to invade my personal space as well?
After some rumination I’ve thought that if enough people in the next local election responded in the following manner to these egomaniacs perhaps they’d get the message to leave us alone to our own (voting) devices and let us decide for ourselves for whom to cast our ballot without insulting us by phony, friendly appeals for our vote.
CANDIDATE: “Hi there, I’m Joe Blotz running for dogcatcher – can I count on your vote today”?
BELEAGURED VOTER: “ Well…I don’t know – will you be here tomorrow”?
CANDIDATE: “Umm…I don’t think so”
BELEAGURED VOTER: Well, if you won’t be “here” for me tomorrow, I won’t be “here” for you today”
By employing this simple give and take I’m sure we can gently “convince” our political friends to leave us alone on election day – and for perhaps even longer!
One other thing of which you might not be aware – at the same voting site – and I’m sure it was replicated all over the County at least – an individual was passing out flyers labeled SAMPLE BALLOT (see enclosed). Thinking this would be a good way to make sure who was on the ballot – since a number of voting districts have changed, etc. I took one and studied it once I was inside. As you can see the SAMPLE BALLOT only included candidates who happened to be of the Republican persuasion – certainly not a “SAMPLE” ballot at all!
After voting, I confronted the individual passing out the flyers and told him that this flyer was misleading at best and patently dishonest at worst. His clever rejoinder was that “hey, everyone does it!” probably true, but disheartening nonetheless.
Oh well. We won’t have to confront this type of thing for another year – what am I saying, it’s begun already!
Dennis W. Crowley