Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Younger Daughter exercises the franchise

Younger Daughter turned 18 last September, so this coming primary is the first in which she'd be eligible to vote.

But first she had to register.

Younger Daughter's regular route to school each day takes her within a couple of blocks of the Skokie Courthouse, and she had a myriad of other registration options besides.

Here in Cook County we take voting very seriously. It is a lifelong obligation... in fact, in Chicago, sometimes the urge to vote seems to continue long after life ends.

But Younger Daughter wasn't yet with the program. Weeks went by following her birthday, then months, and soon the media were announcing that the deadline for registration was upon us. Younger Daughter was still not registered.

I put my foot down: I told her if she didn't take the car over to the courthouse and get herself registered she wasn't going to be taking the car anywhere for quite a while.

Yes, that's the nuclear option.

Sometimes it must be threatened.

Sure enough, the very next day, Younger Daughter managed to find the time to register to vote. Her registration card arrived just the other day... as did the realization that she would not be in the jurisdiction on Election Day.

She's set for a band outing, starting during the Super Bowl and ending late on Election Day.

There's something extremely un-American about this trip, don't you think?

But -- particularly in Cook County -- there's always a way to vote.

Younger Daughter could, under these circumstances, legitimately request an absentee ballot or she could vote early. One of the neighborhood libraries was designated as an early voting site.

She chose the latter option.

Now there are a lot of races in Cook County on Super Tuesday besides the Presidential primary. We have a hotly contested State's Attorney's race, for example. In our ward, there's also a very hotly contested race for Democratic Committeeman. And there are nine countywide Circuit Court vacancies at stake and three vacancies in our home subcircuit.

Cook County being effectively a one party state, like Cuba or many of the now-independent former Soviet republics, the winners of the judicial primary races will be uncontested in the November election. And, as a lawyer, I have a particular interest in the judicial races -- these are the men and women who may be throwing my cases out of court in the very near future, causing my family to starve. So you might think my daughter would ask my opinion about who to vote for, right? You might even think that, as a first time voter, she'd be energized into doing her own research into the various offices and candidates.

Of course, if you thought any of that, you'd be wrong.

After she voted, we asked Younger Daughter about her choices. She remembered who she voted for for President (and she was shocked to find out she was voting for delegates to the nominating convention, too)... but she couldn't remember much about who else was on the ballot. There were so many names, she said.

And people wonder why I fear for the future.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

my (now dead) mother in law used to vote for the one with the name she liked best. (bless her heart) (oh wait, she didn't have one! ha ha ha)...

smiles, bee

The Beach Bum said...

We had our primary yesterday. I didn’t vote. My polling place is 65 miles away because I have not changed my address. I moved the first week of August 2007.

When growing up in Chicago it was essential that we all voted in the primary! My uncle was a precinct captain for Richard J. Daley. Our precinct usually had a 97% turnout for the primary and a 110% turnout for the General Election. At 16 years old (21 was the voting age at that time) I voted for two people that could not make it to the polling place (one of them had died 2 months before).

I helped to put JFK in office.

I love old time Chicago politics.

The Beach Bum

Jean-Luc Picard said...

US politics is a lot of confusing than British.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog and enjoyed
reading it. I am also an Ozzie and Harriet type person stuck in an Ozzie and Sharon type world. Our children don't realize how lucky they are because they have the right to vote.

The Curmudgeon said...

Bee -- she wasn't alone in picking by 'nice-sounding names' -- one year the Democratic party accidentally nominated two disciples of Lyndon LaRouche for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, thereby dooming the gubernatorial ambitions of Adlai Stevenson III. You could look it up.

BB -- you can tell the folks in Florida that your votes helped put JFK in the White House, and they did. But the real reason for the extraordinary push in 1960 was to prevent the reelection of Republican Benjamin Adamowski as State's Attorney. Adamowski might have been a threat to Richard I, so Da Mare reached out and pulled Dean Daniel P. Ward out of DePaul Law School and pulled out ALL the stops to get him elected over Adamowski.

You could look this one up, too.

Jean-Luc -- It's probably more confusing because the press treats elections as if they were horse races.

Charli and me -- Welcome. Hope you'll come back.

The Beach Bum said...

Curmudgeon -

Da Mare was a very shrewd politician. If you haven’t read it (and I’m sure you have) read “Boss” by Mike Royko. This book should be required reading in 300 series G&P Courses. Another good book is “American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation”

I remember Benjamin Adamowski well. He later, in either 1963 or 1964, ran against Daley for mayor and was defeated so badly that Daley’s License Plate # reflected the difference in the vote.

I think that I voted three times in that election.

My uncle would give me and my cousins a list of who we were to vote for.

The Beach Bum