Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Alabama Voting and Politics

In case you were actually born yesterday, you should know that Alabama is not politically similar to California...

First, the voting experience. I arrived at Rockwell Elementary, just down the street from my house, and was immediately asked by the ladies checking me in after I gave them my ID, "how did you find yourself in Alabama from California??"  I explained that we got jobs here, yada yada yada.

Then, I was asked if I wanted a Republican or Democrat ballot. In Alabama you don't register with a party, but rather choose a party when you show up to vote (one of the few things about Alabama politics that I like).  But the way they asked me was funny, it was like "Republican. Or, Democrat?" as if they knew that everyone was voting Republican (anyone who votes with a Democratic ballot shouldn't even show up, all the candidates, left or right, except for Obama for President, run as Republicans).

Then I sat down at a table, with these wooden dividers to make sure we had "privacy", and I stared at my ballot for about 3 minutes to figure out what I was supposed to do (it was one of those where you have to draw the line from the arrow to the box of each candidate you want, at least that's what I hope the instructions meant). I then waited in line to put my ballot through an optical scanner that looked like it was lucky to have survived the 70's.  Then of course I got my sticker and was excited that I had just voted for the first time in a place like Alabama, for republicans.

Turning to the results, some folks in the office here felt ashamed that our state went for Santorum.  Thankfully it's proportional so he didn't actually gain any ground on Romney (the only sane electable one I think is still in the race, who won Mobile County).  But the bigger news is that the Republican winner for Chief Judge of the Alabama Supreme Court is crazy. And, the "democrat" (who isn't really) that will run against him in November is just as, if not more, crazy.  Here's what he said about undocumented immigrants:

[Harry] Lyon said if elected, he would sponsor a law to get all illegal immigrants out of the state within 90 days, or be hanged in public. “It would only take five or 10 getting killed and broadcast on CNN for it to send a clear message to not set foot in Alabama,” said Lyon, a Pelham lawyer. “Anybody that breaks into my home is a threat to my life. I remember the Alamo.”

So there is quite a bit of concern among the lawyers here about the state of our judicial system.  If I wasn't already careful about not finding myself on the wrong side of the law, I am now. 

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