Friday, June 08, 2012


It is a silly distinction, since I understand that statewide elections generally have a pretty light turnout. It makes me think of a movie called "Hanover Street," best known as the film Harrison Ford made while he wasn't busy being Han Solo. Mister Ford's turn as an American pilot in World War II England isn't the reason I remember this one, however. It's the Richard Masur role I remember best. He's the bombardier on Harrison's plane, who complains bitterly about the amount of flak that they experience on any given mission. The exploding kind. The kind with shrapnel. "Someone forgot to tell the Germans we're only supposed to have light to moderate flak today."
And that's what I thought about as I strolled into my polling place just after seven in the morning. I was outnumbered ten to one by election officials, and I had my choice of carrels behind which I could do my voting business. The flak there was moderate to light, and certainly not the exploding kind. I drew my line across the arrows that I had chosen the night before with my mostly-like-minded wife, and watched as the judge fed my ballot into the machine, counting me as the first. There was no line behind me, and the rest of the crew there busied themselves about their volunteer responsibilities. Some of them were obviously offering up their service for the first time, as the conferred with others about just where people were to sign and exactly what to say to those incipient voters on their way into the converted gymnasium.
When I rolled by bike back on the street, there was no line at the door, with anxious citizens waiting to cast their ballots. I knew this was just a warmup for November, and we've all got plenty of time to practice our technique before then. I expect moderate to heavy flak by then.

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