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 An app for that

Posted on October 21, 2020 by Bob Edwards

Your correspondent apologizes for any typos or wine stains in this piece but we’re typing this column and trying to get our 2020 ballots marked and mailed before polls close. Those who’ve herniated a disk lifting dense county and state Voters Guides know what that involves.

Oh, the ballot is simple enough:  two pieces of paper. Color in little circles to pick who should run things and which things should/shouldn’t be run. Put ballot in blue envelope, sign envelope, moisten – DO NOT LICK – the possibly COVID-infected seal, close it, and drop it in the mail.  

If you can color inside the lines, actual voting is easy.  The tricky part is deciding which circles to color; correctly inserting the ballot in the blue envelope; signing it with your Registered Voter Signature (remember what that looks like?); and submitting it in-person, by mail, or dropbox before polls close.   

For we Fair-Minded Voters with carefully preconceived opinions, simmering hatreds, and lusts for revenge, voting is not easy. To discharge our Sacred Patriotic Duty as taught to us in school (after the Pledge of Allegiance and/or Lord’s Prayer), we must:

  1. Carefully study credentials and positions of every candidate for each elective office on our ballot, 
  2. Thoroughly digest the wording and ponder the ramifications of each ballot measure and initiative, 
  3. Meticulously compare “For” and “Against” arguments for each ballot measure as written by advocates and opponents, 
  4. Organize thousands of election flyers harvested from our mailboxes over the last year, 
  5. Read both sides of each flyer, perhaps making margin notations for later reference,
  6. Fortified with quality refreshments, spend an evening or two thoughtfully pouring over the potential ramifications of our choices on our hopes, lives, and dreams and those of our progeny for decades to come; 
  7. Share our choices among family and friends to get their feedback, and finally
  8. Pick up a blue or black ink pen (no more #2 pencils!) and Seal the Fate of candidates and the Republic, however long it lasts.

It’s exhausting. After centuries of elections, you’d think there’d be An App for That.   You know: Activate phone; click App; hold phone to head; let App scan several gigabillion brain cells (give or take) to decode, sort, and upload your voting thoughts, saving days of inevitably Faulty Thinking.  

After it beeps, touch phone to Voters Guides and your ballot to upload their texts to the App, which immediately:

1) Inserts choices your brain would have made if you actually took the time to think about them, 

2) Saves a screenshot, 

3) Merges your registered voter signature from your phone’s files, and 

4) Emails your completed, signed, and encrypted ballot to the Registrar’s computer.  

Which tallies it with thousands similarly received, & live-streams updated totals to everyone’s phone. No COVID-infested polls to visit; no constantly checking TV news for results. Best of all: No thinking! 

An App could even provide exciting election-night surprises. As when Sonoma Valley voters belatedly learned they had voted to build a multi-million dollar high school sports complex that wasn’t exactly highlighted in the school district’s cheery “Warm, Safe and Dry” flyers. But an App would have found it, buried deep in the dense text of that Voters Guide we all just toss in the . . . wait . . . where did I put that damned thing?

 



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