Local Democracy

Phillip and I filled out our ballots last night. I dropped them in the mailbox on my way to the bus stop this morning. Today is Election Day. We don’t usually wait until the last minute to cast our votes. I’m not sure what happened this time.

When it comes time for voting, it’s our habit to gather all the mailings we’ve received, plus the endorsements from our union, and our ballots, and the Voters’ Pamphlet. We spread everything out on the futon. Then I read aloud all the statements. We discuss.

Typically, but not always, Phillip and I vote the same.

Last night, like always, we forgot to write down who we voted for so we can follow the results.

On this ballot, it was all candidates for local offices: City Council, School District, and Port Commissioner.

I love local democracy. I think it’s terrific that anybody off the street can run for City Council. I really do. But our city has some – well, interesting folks asking for our votes.

There’s the candidate for Port of Seattle Commissioner promising to fight against police brutality in Baltimore. (That’s a great cause, for sure, but aren’t they on the wrong coast?) We skipped over the candidate who WROTE THEIR ENTIRE TWENTY PARAGRAPH CAMPAIGN STATEMENT IN CAPITOL LETTERS. (They may have been a good candidate, but often it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.) One candidate wrote their campaign statement in fragmented sentences, question marks, and ellipses. (“Tunnel??? … really?”)

And we didn’t vote for the candidate who started their statement with: “Stop fascism with idiotic face.”

There were a lot good candidates on the ballot, and a lot of tough choices. (Should we vote for the one with better defined goals, or the one with the better endorsements? Should we support the candidate who supports that group, or the one who supports this group?) My throat was sore from reading it all.

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