Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today, as you may have heard, was the Pennsylvania primary, the most important event in the current presidential campaign a day which probably won't change much about the current race. It was also the first time I ever voted in a presidential primary. I learned that not only do I get to pick my favorite candidate, but I also get to pick the people who get to go to Denver this summer and vote for that candidate. It would have been a difficult choice, had the ballot not conveniently contained the precise number of delegates that I would have needed to pick.

Most exciting of all, though, I got to write in a candidate! Apparently, the candidate for State House didn't file her paperwork on time or something, making it necessary to write her name on the ballot. I admit I haven't researched this candidate very closely, but the fact that she was not able to make herself a candidate by conventional means does not inspire tremendous confidence. Meanwhile, the incumbent Representative decided to take advantage of the power vacuum by appealing to Democrats to write his name in as the Democratic candidate, thus increasing his chance of reelection from "practically guaranteed" to "completely guaranteed."

Once I arrived at my polling place, I discovered that volunteers from both parties were handing out pre-inked rubber stamps with the candidates' names on them (that's right: the first competitive Pennsylvania primary of my life, and I'm still just rubber-stamping things). So I picked up one stamp from the Democratic volunteer (a kid with long hair and a Fidel Castro hat) and one from the Republican volunteer (a middle-aged white guy in a suit), and went inside, confident that my vote would not be disqualified due to misspelling, poor penmanship, or a last minute temptation to cast a vote for Lincoln's Ghost.

So I exercised my civic duty, and Pennsylvania has ceded its title of Most Important State in the Union to Indiana and North Carolina (seriously?). I'll miss the daily mailers from the SEIU and the frequent, pre-recorded phone calls from my BFFs Michelle and Bill. Perhaps the only consolation is that I'll get to go through the whole thing again in just a few short months.

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