Monday, March 12, 2018

Electoral confusion?!?

I happened to be taking my father’s dogs out for a Sunday morning walk when we stumbled across a house that had campaign signs galore posted all over the front lawn.
Carmelo, a Golden Retriever/Poodle, surveys the confusion of some voters as Election Day approaches in eight days. Photograph by Gregory Tejeda
So many that the end result was a chaotic mess – with some of the signs actually being for conflicting viewpoints come Election Day.

DO WE HAVE people who think they’re politically aware who don’t have a clue how they’re voting? Will next Tuesday wind up being the end result of political chaos run amok?

Anything is possible. There are times when I think the only definitive thought would-be voters have in their heads is whether they want “four more years” of Bruce Rauner as Illinois governor.

As for the ones who don’t, I doubt there’s a true consensus of thought behind any one candidate, or even one political party. Which could be Rauner’s best chance of winning re-election.

But as for the rest of the ballot, I won’t be surprised to learn many people will walk into the voting booth without a clue how they’re going to vote.

WILL WE HAVE people picking and choosing at random just so they can fill out their ballots? Or will we have people leaving the bulk of their ballots blank because they don’t have a clue who, or what, to cast votes for?

I know some suburbs are putting “home rule” referendum questions on their ballot – asking voters if their municipal officials ought to have full authority to deal with local issues involving taxes.

There are some people who put their full faith in their local officials over any other, while others think government officials deserve to have as little authority as possible.

Yet I have heard some people come right out and say they’re inclined to skip that question, particularly if the concept of “home rule” in general is one that is alien to them.

OF COURSE, THERE’S also all those judges to pick from – and I’m sure that’s going to cause intimidation for many voters.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that as a reporter-type person who has written about courts in Cook County, I have an edge over other voters. I’ve actually heard of many of these judges – in some instances, I’ve covered cases in their courtrooms.

I’m not above refusing to vote for a judge who acted like a pompous blowhard while I was in his presence.

Which makes as much sense to me as those people who cast votes for as many of the white, Irish-sounding names they see. To the point where I’m astounded at the many judicial candidates who have their campaign lawn signs in Kelly green-colored letters. Putting the thoughts of St. Patrick’s Day into our subliminal thoughts.

AS FOR ME, when I cast my ballot last week at an Early Voting Center, I actually went with my own ethnic origins in cases when I was unfamiliar with all the candidates – hence, a slew of Spanish-sounding names got my vote. Although I’m also aware there’s been enough ethnic intermixing in our society that it doesn’t take a “Rodriguez” or “Martinez”-like name to be Latino.

I’m also sure there are others who have equally-goofy ways of distributing their votes in cases of cluelessness. Besides, when you think about it, does it really make sense to seek out a Bar Association endorsement list and pick off all those names? Those lists tend to be the legal establishment, and I’m sure there are those who’d rather be shaking up the established courthouse regulars for our societal good.

So those of you who have yet to cast your votes, I’ll wish you luck on wading through the many anonymous names that comprise the bottom half of the ballot that you probably haven’t paid attention to.

And I’ll wonder if your reaction will be something similar to one of my father’s dogs, who I swear let out a sigh when he saw the mass of signs cluttering a lawn that he probably would have put to better use by relieving himself.


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