Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Petty Tyrants

I voted this evening on my way home from school. All the races and initiatives on my ballot were pretty much foregone, but it's the principle, right? It was close to 6 PM by the time I got to the poll and the line was kind of long. As I waited I wondered about this voter turnout-- are a lot of people like me, or are we going to wake up to a shocker in the morning? In the end, I figured that since politics is our hometown industry, most folks were just supporting the company. We'll see.

Waiting in line rarely brings out the best in people, even those of us with pure hearts and an idealistic agenda. In such a situation smart phones make the time go faster for me, and I was e-mailing my sister when I heard the ring of someone else's iPhone back in the line. "NO PHONES!" declared one of the election officials. "Silence your phone immediately, sir!" The phone kept ringing, and I resisted the temptation to turn around and stare at the drama unfolding behind me. I did, however, put my phone in my pocket.

Another election official walked past me to provide back up. "Sir! If you can't silence your phone, then please turn it off," he demanded.

There was a smirk of sarcasm in the voice of the violator. "Sorry... I didn't know if I was allowed to touch my phone or not," he said.

"Sir, please--" the official warned, but he stopped there, and I assumed that the guy had put his phone away.

Ten minutes later, I made it to the front of the line and voted. Yay, democracy!

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