Lots has changed for us voters who still like to go down to the voting booth and do our thing.
My parents were hideous examples of voters. They would go, sure, and leave all of us kids in the car, without seatbelts, with the motor running.
But whenever I asked them how they voted, or just wanting to know what it was like, they just said that they cancelled each other out. One parent would vote all Democrat, the other Republican.
They wouldn't tell us which one was which, although I think they were lying about all of it anyway. Back in the 1970s, I'd be shocked if my parents voted for anything Democrat.
Today I went to the Wellington Webb Office Building in Downtown Denver for early voting, and waited 30 minutes for my chance to vote. We can't vote in our old polling places, now there are several places throughout the city where we can bring our registrations with us, and along with IDs, are cleared to vote. We can do it over the course of 10 days before Election Day.
While standing in line, I got the 2 foot by 3 foot voter's guide that ran through each of the initiatives and other items on the ballot so we could study in advance. This is almost not an exaggeration, it was bigger than an 11x17 piece of paper. All in small print.
I knew how I'd vote on the major things, but the one that killed me was the one looking to change the way initiatives are voted upon in the state. I couldn't tell if it was good or bad, frivolous or brilliant, because the initiative to change the initiative process was so badly written, my college-educated brain couldn't wrap itself around it.
So I asked the lady next to me, just asking "Does this make sense to you?" She and I laughed at the irony that the initiative to change the initiative process was a joke in and of itself.
There was a League of Women Voters pamphlet that had the pro's and con's of all the initiatives. I read it. Still unsatisfied, but leaning one way.
I'm a fan of the initiative system. I like it that laws can be passed if you get enough people to sign it to get it on the ballot, and enough people vote for it. I think it's a fine way to not wait around for the State Legislature to do something. In fact, I wish we'd have national initiatives, so we could all vote once on something and just make it law and everybody could shut up about it for a while. You can imagine some of the divisive issues I'm thinking of. Capital Punishment for one.
But this year, we had some very interesting votes. Two initiatives that sort of go together, but sort of don't were on the ballot.
One was to define marriage as being ONLY between a man and a woman.
The other was to pass a law that ok's domestic partnership between same-sex couples.
If one passes, I want the other one to also.
But to me, I found it odd to try and make a definition of marriage like that. It's kind of like saying "football" is only American Football, not Canadian Football, or European Football, known as soccer in this country. Doesn't it matter who you are, who you marry and where you live that defines marriage for you? Marriage doesn't mean the same thing to each person both in the personal as well as the financial sense that the State does. Who am I to say that it's only a man and a woman? Why does anyone really care who marries who? I haven't been able to get my mind around that yet, and probably never will.
But, the fun of the day was voting. I love doing it. We've had some scandals regarding the machines and whether they were tallying votes correctly.
But there was a cool feature on my voting machine today. It printed all three pages out, into a secure box, where I could read it before submitting my vote, and then it disappeared so the next person can't read it. But it's in there so if the machine hiccups, they have another way to count my vote.
So, I think I voted today.