Rio Rancho Voting Woes
Man-about-town / Alibi contributor Clifford Grindstaff reported that a woman from Sandoval County appeared at an Albuquerque polling place this afternoon seeking advice about where to vote. And voters in Rio Rancho (the majority of which is in Sandoval County) reported this morning that they were waiting in long lines to cast their ballots. One woman told KOB News that she’d waited for 2 hours and 20 minutes before she was able to vote at Puesta Del Sol Elementary School.
Let’s hope that the Sandoval County Clerk’s office was able to iron out any difficulties before the work day ended. As of this spring, there were more than 50,000 eligible voters in Rio Rancho. The county only has five polling locations to serve the entire town.
Tips for avoiding long lines at certain polls
Lines at Jefferson Middle School have shot out the door and down the sidewalk. The Student Union Building voting site on UNM campus has lines an hour or so long. Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver tweets that waits are longer than 30 minutes at Rio Bravo, Siesta Hills, Van Buren, Del Norte, McKinely, Cibola and Hayes. But the wait is less than 15 minutes at Downtown sites, including Washington Middle School and the Clerk’s Annex. Scope a map of polling locations and wait times. You can vote at any one of 69 convenience centers.
If you refuse to vote for a candidate that supports endless war, the 2012 presidential election is irrelevant to you. If you refuse to vote for someone who's in favor of mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, this election is irrelevant to you. If you refuse to vote for someone who has proven time and again that they will put profit before people, banks before families, business before human dignity, this election is irrelevant to you.
Sure, you could vote third party. But that third party candidate is not going to win. Obama is. Having out-raised Romney and being the incumbent, it was good as done before it even began. Not that it matters.
Because whether the next president is donkey or elephant, children will still be slaughtered by American bombs in Yemen and Pakistan. Children will still be cut down by American guns in the streets of Mexico. Palestinian children will continue living under United States-backed apartheid and Saudi children will still wake up every day as subjects of a dictatorship.
And American children? American children, regardless of who wins, will still grow up under the most odious surveillance state in history. They will still inherit a country more likely to throw them in jail than any other country, or government, in the world. Tomorrow, we will still have heavily-armed private contractors in Iraq, troops in Afghanistan (until at least 2024), CIA in Syria and drones in no less than six countries.
No matter how you look at it, both candidates would pursue sociopathic policies and do extreme damage to the planet and the people living on it. The only good thing to be said about this election? It's almost over.
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day
I don’t care much for the mainstream media. I’m a liberal who gets her news from Nate Silver, Talking Points Memo and Mother Jones. I didn’t have a television until about a month ago, and with the hate-a-thon of political ads, I kind of wish I had killed it already. With politics, I believe actions speak louder than words. A day of canvassing or phone banking gives you the right to say to say you’ve done your best for the candidate that will serve your needs in office.
But I’m also New Yorker who lived through the fear and sadness that 9-ll brought. And to double down on personal tragedy, Hurricane Katrina snatched my mom’s house off the beach seven years ago. For me, Hurricane Sandy is a frankenbaby of emotions, and when I saw the art deco buildings of Rockefeller Center bathed in red, white, and blue light, it stirred some dormant NY-USA nationalism in my ever-cynical heart.
NBC’s Democracy Center is about as mainstream as media gets, but that map painted on the ice in Rock Center got to me. My first reaction was “I want to go skate on New Mexico!” Then I remembered the day I took my first wobbly steps on that tiny patch of ice in New York (spoiler alert: it is way smaller in person than it looks on TV).
As kid stepping on to the ice that first time, I was fearful and hopeful, and today on Election Day, I feel the same way. I’m fearful of candidates that want to take us backwards and hopeful for the ones that want to lead us forward. America’s ankles are wobbly right now, but tomorrow will reveal if we’re on our ass in the cold or sprinting across the line to put the puck in the net. All I know is when I wake up tomorrow morning, that ice better have a lot of blue on it.
(Comic) Relief for Your “Raging Election”
Give your burning, breaking news ulcer a few moments of respite. For your Election Day amusement, a small compendium of comedian tweets:
@iamjohnoliver: If Mitt Romney wins the election tonight, the White House will be one of the smallest houses he's ever lived in.
@GregtheGrouch: My polling place smelled like fish sticks today.
@steveagee: Vote yes on prop These Nuts
@Hamptonyount: How much did it cost you guys to vote? I feel like I got a deal.
@JohnCleese: Presidential election today when we finally find out just how batty America is...
@jackiekashian: Andy, "I anticipate a happy ending. To my raging election."
@toddbarry: They don't make a sticker for what I did today.
@tedalexandro: Senior citizen volunteers overseeing newfangled computer voting machines? There's no way this could go wrong!
@birbigs: Today is Halloween for adults. Let's all pretend we live in a democracy. #VOTE
@friedmanjon: I just voted for some Kenyan guy. LOL!
@mileskahn: Does anyone know if Fox News is on suicide watch? I'm really worred about them.
@mitchfatel: Just released! Documents prove Obama is half black!
@DougBenson: I'd like to see four more years of BREAKING BAD. Can we vote for that?
@mileskahn: Nate Silver says there's a 95% chance that if Obama wins he's "so getting laid."
@JenKirkman: An old lady who lives at the senior place I'm voting in just yelled out her room "Shut up!" to a crying baby. She's prob a hologram of my future.
@aasif: Are you kidding me Florida?
@PaulScheer: Vote No on Prop 36 which requires everyone you know to have a podcast. #vote2012
@julieklausner: Putting on shoes, getting ready to vote. If they don't have stickers OR a sugar free lolly for me, I'm going to flip my shit.
@JoshSneed: Just stole a big roll of "I Voted" stickers when this guy wasn't looking in case anyone that just wants to be left alone needs one. 'Merica.
@EugeneMirman: The Internet isn't the only place to tell strangers they're idiots, you can yell at folks in voting lines or throw leftover CSA veggies too.
@thelovemaster: Interesting how they word proposition descriptions to spin u. Think I just saw 1 promising daily blow jobs. #gotmyvote
@aishatyler: Yes. Vote first. Game second. You can't save the universe from the Covenant menace if you haven't saved democracy first.
@Ruth_A_Buzzi: How can we vote when they haven't even done that part where we see them in their swim suits?
I voted (I wish I didn’t have to)
BALTIMORE—When my husband and I headed to our polling place this morning we took along something extra: Our children. Previously we’ve opted to vote unencumbered by the whirling dervishes of energy that our children are, but this time around we felt a need for them to be a part of what could be an historic vote—and I don’t just mean electing Barry O to a second term.
You see, while I occasionally send in reports to the Alibi about the goings-on in DC I actually live on the Maryland side. And this year’s Maryland ballot features Question 6, a referendum on extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. Maryland passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in February; opponents (shocker!) of the bill submitted signatures for the referendum in June. The bill not only allows for same-sex couples to be granted marriage rights, but also includes language guaranteeing religious organizations will not have to gay marry anyone. Question 6 has received support from African-American religious groups; a demographic considered pivotal in securing enough votes to once and finally recognize, legally, the inherent humanity of a group long discriminated against. Maryland has the best chance, so far, of passing such a referendum.
What does this have to do with dragging our five-
I took them along so they would have to walk past the people who have been fighting for their rights for too long and who were making that one last appeal to voters, who had smiles on their faces as they asked voters to see them as equals. I wanted them to walk past the people next to them who were asking voters to deny LGBTQ citizens any recognition of full equality under the law.
My husband and I ushered them into the booths with us so they could see us vote for something that should never have been put to a vote. We read the ballot out loud to them and explained why we were voting yes, why this was so important. We did everything we could think of to make sure these tiny people remember the day their parents went to the polls and agreed to legally treat LGBTQ citizens like everybody else.
We want them to remember this moment as past generations have remembered voting to extend rights to women, African-Americans and other disenfranchised groups. We want them to remember this moment because we hope this is the last generation that votes on who is equal and deserving of rights. Rights! We want them to be the generation that finally understands that we don’t have the right to vote on someone’s rights; the first generation to fully understand what equality means; the first generation to fully enjoy equality, equally.
The wait at the polls doesn’t look bad
I was in line by 7:04 am at Jefferson Middle School, and there were at least 50 folks ahead of me. Thank goodness for the bake sale being held in the lobby: The scones held me over until it was my turn. When I left there, were slightly fewer people in line. It was great to see the diversity of voters who turned out early at this neighborhood polling station.
We’ve heard reports of differing waits at the polling locations. You can vote at any of the 69 convenience centers. The county clerk has a color-coded system that will show you what the wait will be like as you head in on your lunch hour. It’s looking pretty good around the city, with green 15-minute waits at most locations.
Or, try the clerk’s new app on your smartphone. Download it at Apple’s App Store or the Android Play Store for free. Just search for “BernCo,” “Bernalillo County” or “My Vote Center.” If you don’t have those services, you can get it right from the bernco.gov home page. There it’s called the Wait Time Feature for My Vote Center.
In our Election Guide, we summed up everything you need to know about voting today.
What’s up with county bond 5?
The Alibi loves bikes. What could be better for our country’s health and the environment than everyone getting out of their cars and powering themselves to work?
It’s part of why we’re not crazy about the Paseo and I-25 interchange revamp. That’s going to suck up so much money. Why not put that cash toward public transit, bike paths or other creative solutions to our vehicle-based problems? When you make the road bigger, it just fills up with more cars.
The city isn’t the only entity pitching funds toward the overhaul, though it’s certainly putting up the most. The county may toss in $5 million, depending on what voters say today.
But here’s the thing: The ballot language on county bond 5 doesn’t say a thing about Paseo. Instead, it says the bond puts cash toward road repair and bike paths. It’s a $10 million bond—and half of it goes to Paseo.
We say vote for it anyway. BernCo residents shouldn’t suffer potholes and dangerous conditions for cyclists because of this shady business. Still, it’d be nice if the ballot language was clearer.
Screw the campaign commercials
Even I’m sick of them. And I love this stuff.
I hear lots of people talking about how they’re all burned out on political candidates and their endless bickering. This is the most expensive election of all time. And where did that money go? Ads. Lots and lots of ads.
But even if you don’t care at all about who’s the next president, senator, county commissioner, whatever, there are a few other issues on the ballot today that are worth your attention.
Do you think Albuquerque’s minimum wage should go up $1? Our election team does, and here’s why.
Do you think Albuquerque should spend $50 million on rebuilding the Paseo and I-25 interchange? We didn’t. Here’s why.
And what about those amendments? Three of the five are about strengthening the Public Regulation Commission. They probably stem from the disaster that was Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. The Alibi’s endorsement crew likes all the amendments, especially the one that pulls the Public Defender’s Office out from under the thumb of the guv. (You may not care about that agency today, but you will if you ever get in trouble with the law and you can’t afford a private attorney.)
Go vote! The polls are open all day!
You’ve got until 7 p.m. to cast your ballot at any of these 69 polling locations. If you got your absentee ballot in the mail, but you haven’t turned it in yet, you can drop it off at the County Clerk’s Office by 7 p.m. That’s in City Hall (1 Civic Plaza) on the sixth floor.
You do not have to bring ID.
If you have any problems at the polls, call these voter protection hotlines:
Here’s what the Alibi thought of the candidates and the issues you’ll see on your ballot today.