Wednesday, October 5, 2016

All the polls ask us to reassure political pundits they comprehend what goes on

My e-mail boxes have been getting cluttered in recent days with all kinds of quickie surveys, asking me assorted questions trying to gather a sense of where the mood of the electorate stands these days.
Antiquated art, but the voter sentiment still stands

With just over a month to Election Day, and actually only one more week for people to make sure they’re registered to vote, the time is running down.

THE MOOD OF certain political people seems to be getting shaky. One poll I keep seeing in my e-mail tells me how Joe Biden is voting for Hillary Clinton for president, along with Barack Obama. But what about me?

As though they think the bulk of us are going to be lazy slugs who will sit on our derrieres all day Nov. 8 and not bother to cast ballots – thereby leading to the worst case scenario in which the only people who vote are those crackpot conservative ideologues who actually think Donald Trump is fit for public office.

I literally get the sense from all these polls that pundits are putting them out to justify their existence – as though they want some sort of evidence that people are actually paying attention to anything they say.

It’s almost as though they’re trying to create a panic mode that scares us into turning out on Election Day (or to an early voting center if you’re so inclined to cast a ballot that way – beginning Oct. 24).

ON TUESDAY ALONE, I received two such questions – one asking me if I voted in 2008 and another wanting to know if I was supportive of the Barack Obama “legacy.” Somebody wants to know if I’m inclined to be P-O’ed enough to want to cast a vote of negativity.

And, if so, how can they swoop in and take actions meant to negate the effects of such a vote.
We could all use this wish in this election cycle

For the sake of disclosure, I must admit to ignoring all of these e-mail surveys, although a part of me contemplated taking the Mike Royko route (remember how the late newspaper columnist once suggested people lie to exit poll takers) and responding with false answers.

Just to make some survey compiler’s day by creating results to mess with his mind.

THIS MOST DEFINITELY is not an election cycle of a candidate hinting at “hope and change” for our society and how we can help accomplish something for the public good by expressing our will at the polling place.

This is more an election cycle of “fear and ignorance” (remember “Bull Durham?”) in which we’re probably going to come out as losers regardless of what the election results turn out to be.

It’s more a matter if a certain segment of our society that used to be able to count on concepts such as poll taxes to keep certain people from expressing themselves on Election Day wants to have some sort of assurance that they will remain the dominant presence – even though the demographics would say they’re not.

Now, we’re getting some states with Voter ID measures meant to ensure that election judges will have enough discretion to keep certain kinds of people from voting.

THERE’S EVEN THE fact in Illinois that a court tried to strike down the measure that actually permitted people under certain circumstances to just show up at their polling place and cast a ballot – while registering to vote at the same time. It was just Tuesday that an appeals court overruled that lower court -- although this case could keep bopping back and forth through the court system as someone hopes to get a sympathetic judge to rule in their favor.

The line of logic for its rejection was that certain rural counties didn’t offer the option. Although that is because those counties chose not to do so; mostly because their election officials contend it would be too much of a hassle for them to bother doing.

It is the reason why I made sure in the past week that my own voter registration is in-line, particularly since I moved from the address where I had been registered for the past several election cycles.

I actually tried the on-line option by which I sent new information to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which then theoretically notified the Cook County clerk’s office. We’ll see if it works – if I get ejected from a polling place that day, that means it didn’t.


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