100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

November 29, 2012 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

COMMUNITY

JEWFRO

11 Election
Reflections

By Ben Falik

ith the presidential campaign a few weeks behind us and the next
one at least as many away, I find myself gravitating back to Election
Day. Not because of the results or the deeper democratic or demo-
graphic dynamics surrounding the election but — after months of forecasts,
foreshadowing and foreboding — for the participatory experience itself.
Some thoughts:

W

1.

I voted by absentee ballot. This was not a highly satisfying experience.
Like going to a much-hyped sporting event and then finding yourself
watching most of the game on the JumboTron, you are undeniably
close to — even part of — the action, but can't help but feel removed
from it. Plus, everyone knows that absentee ballots don't get counted.

2.

My absenteeism was for a good cause, or at least "good cause" accord-
ing to the criteria for qualifying for an absentee ballot. I worked at
Greater Unity Baptist Church, on Tireman just west of Livernois —"a
precinct other than the precinct where I reside:'

3.

I have long thought houses-of-worship-as-polling-places show that
church and state can be good neighbors — respectful roommates,
even — as long as they decorate subtly and clean out the fridge.

4.

The polling staff reported to their station at 5:45 in the morning. Even
as a parent and ostensible adult, I have had relatively few experiences
that have required me to be somewhere — alert and wearing a but-
toned shirt with the right buttons buttoned in the right button holes
— before 6 a.m. Nor have many of my many parking violations been a
result of unlawful earliness.

5.

My assignment was to help people confirm they were in the right poll-
ing place and, if not, point them in the right direction, in most cases to
a church a few blocks in either direction on Tireman. But the red sticker
I received ("Election Official: Supervisor"), coupled with my patriotic
shoes, bestowed on me the authority and expectation to do a wide
variety of tasks over those 16 hours that I won't discuss in detail for
fear that I violated any number of election laws. Disclosure: I accepted
a gift — sugarless gum —from a voter.

6.

The line was about an hour long, and the ballot was two pages front
and back. Some people were visibly restless, but most were patient
and polite. Many were excited by the sight of friends and familiar faces
they may not have seen since one or two or four Novembers ago — a
practical reality of living in a part of the city that lacks many of the
shared spaces (schools, parks, shops, restaurants, buses) it once had.

7.

During a long day of promoting the democratic process, it's important
to eat well. I ate seven White Castle steamed hamburgers. Or I assume I
did based largely on the seven White Castle steamed hamburger boxes
that remained after my non-break. In fairness, that was only 7 percent
of the available number of White Castle steamed hamburgers.

8.

Is there anything cooler than bringing your kids to vote? According to
the kids I asked — yes, yes there is.

9.

The M-100 voting machine — a kindly robot that, as far as I could tell,
had not yet developed self-awareness — printed out the day's results
just like so many woefully long Target receipts. Our result: Obama 526,
Romney 6.

10. Among the handful of non-presidential write-ins, the one that struck
me as too random to be random:Tim Duncan for University of Michi-
gan Regent.

11. In 2008, I volunteered in Highland Park, leaving only to go to Beau-
mont for our first ultrasound for our firstborn. When Sen. Obama said,
"This is your victory" in Grant Park, I broke down in tears on my couch.
Four years and many ultrasounds later, when President Obama said,
"The best is yet to come;' I was on the same couch, fast asleep.

RED THREAD
mAmfiaiv

A new winner every month!

visit redthreadmagazine.com for details

December giveaway

TICKETS

TO

DRAG QUEEN
BINGO

last month's winner

ADDIS
ABABA

ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT

Phyllis of
Farmington Hills won a
$100 gift certificate to
Addis Ababa

Prizes may vary and prize must be claimed within 30 days of winning or they are voided.

our giveaways

Are donated by local advertisers; to be considered for a spot in
our giveaway page, please contact us at (248) 351-5107.

how to win

Enter to win at:

http://www.redthreadmagazine.com/red - thread - giveaway/
This contest opens at noon on the first Thursday of the month and
closes at 3 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. Winners will
be chosen and notified by the end of each month. No purchase is
necessary to enter or win. One entry per person per month. Please
note: Winner's name will be printed in the following issue of Red
Thread.

1728310

www.redthreadmagazine.com

10 um

I December 2012 41

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan