An email written on Nov. 4, 2008 :
I’ve just needed to break apart my laptop to re-sit the keyboard so that all keys can be typed… ( I’ve become an expert in DELL laptop keyboard surgery … Half an hour ago, my laptop had a hard soft-landing in my bag on the floor 🙂
I’ve voted this morning soon after 8 am. Let me describe a bit and you may carry the momentum of my "excitement" to vote when you can vote one day One of the reasons that Obama is becoming a president is probably because the black population (only ~10% of USA) have higher population % than any other ethnic groups (certainly Asians !!).
This voting place is opposite to my way to work. Even as I practised once a month ago using the shortest path (but it’s kind of in a maze), I still managed to over-shoot and had to go back to the main road … another failure in minimizing Feynman path integrals…. I apparently chose a good time as there was no line for me and I needed only to wait for the previous voter to finish her vote.
I was hoping that the voting machine would be different from the antique one that I’ve used twice, one in our Library election and another in the School District election. But it’s the same stupid mechanical system. Imaging in the standard Cartesian system, there is a big or huge handle. One needs to grab the handle and move it from ~140 deg. to ~40 deg. to close the half-curtain (about the level of waist). You sort of click the much small latches from 0 deg. to 340 deg. (-20 deg.) to choose the candidates in 13 elections (!). After that, you pull the handle from ~40 deg. to ~140 deg. to register the vote. I think I trust the computer system (even with Windows in it) more than this … In all 3 times so far, I don’t feel that my vote is secure. It’s like playing a toy or acting in drama … and I’m not sure whether my vote is really counted.
The most important thing that I want to talk about is that only during the last couple of weeks, I’ve realized that today’s general election is many more than just the President !!! I didn’t vote for Obama nor Mccain.
The one for the President has been too publicized and the one for the US House of Representatives is also kind of known to me — which has involved almost no pain in decision-making because T. Bishop was the guy who has responded/helped to me the most when I needed help for my citizenship process. It’s the best evidence that someone has done something — unlike all those promises from Obama and McCain that you know >50% (or higher) would not materialize.
But as I said, there are a total of 13 "elections" or "votes" to be decided this morning. There is no info. sent to us about all the 13 ballots. In the last two Sundays, I have spent an hour or two to try to google but it’s difficult. Only in the last few days that there were some signs and banners outside my home for some of the election competitors.
I could find the candidates for 9 elections, President, US House, New York State (NYS) Assembly and NYS Senate, 4 NYS Supreme Court Judges and one District Judge for our town. So, I actually wrote down the names that I’ve decided to vote for on a piece of paper so that I could check with it when voting. But this morning, when I arrived at the poll station, I saw that there were 4 more elections (all judges for Family Court etc.) that I hadn’t heard. But it’s OK … because in one Court, there was one candidate for 1 seat and in another Court, there were 3 candidates for 3 seats. Perhaps that’s why I’d never heard about them even if I had google-d hard.
Besides the President and the US House, all the other candidates’ information is hard to come back. Then, I realize that the party endorsement is particularly important here !! For the judges, the same person can be endorsed by the Democratic Party as well as the Republican … and even parties called themselves "Conservative", "Independent" and "Working Families". For the judge elections, I tried to eliminate those with "Conservative" endorsement (I had considered voting for Mccain before she selected Sarah Palin just to get more "Conservative" people to vote for him … something that doesn’t sit very well with me). But it doesn’t work to get the 4 Judges and so I also had to find the person with the most no. of endorsements (probably it indicates that this Judge is not that biased).
Not all states in USA have their Judges "elected" (but appointed by the Governors…). I actually don’t think electing judge may be the best thing. I read John Grisham’s novel "The Appeal" > half a year ago and there it told you how the big company billionaire might manipulate behind the scene to elect the one that they know who would be biased to them and get rid of the liberal or more neutral Judge. Of course, the other side is the trial lawyers who get rich by suing all the big business…. "Unbiased" is always hard to come by.
Voting/election is never scientific. If there is an instrument as "reliable" as a TV (say) — that people have the confidence that pushing a button would switch it on — we have already made use of that scientific/reliable way, I believe.
In the President’s race, I originally thought of voting for Ralph Nader (the Green party). But I hadn’t heard much about him and yesterday morning just before I went back to work, I saw Bob Barr (the Liberatarian). I like his against big govt. (eg. 700 or 800 billion bailout) etc. So, after googling a tiny bit, I had decided to vote for him. I was just to show my (at the significance level of ~1/(100 millions) ) dissatisfaction with the presently dominating parties which are as difficult to overthrow as the CCP in China. Lou Dobbs’ program has had some effect on me.
This is another tiny bit of non-scientific exercise of mine and another example that quantum field theory or superstring theory can’t help you pin down the only choice … and you have to make your decision based on a bit of emotion and a bit of rational.
It’s still better than some dictating party telling me whom they’ve chosen for me.