Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rock the Vote: Election Day in NY

Brett and Heather spent many years working in television news and one thing they don't miss is election coverage.  What most people don't realize is that election day is like the Olympics for newsies.  It's a day spent watching and waiting for voters to come and go, for officials to count the votes and for the totals to be tallied.  Sometimes it's quick and easy, sometimes it's the longest day of your life.

Once, while in Jonesboro, Heather was on her way to cover an election when she hit a deer in the KAIT news car.  In the middle of nowhere Arkansas, the deer flipped on top of the hood, flew over the windshield and off the roof of the car while Heather screamed like a girl!  With the headlight busted, the front grill hanging off and deer hair stuck to the windshield wipers, her news director said if it can drive, keep going to your story.  Nothing like rep'n the TV station at the county courthouse for election results looking all ghetto fabulous in your demolition derby car.

Live from NY!
When we became New Yorkers we didn't really know a whole lot about the politics up here.  Probably our first exposure to NY politics was from Saturday Night Live.  Seriously!  We would sit (in Arkansas & Mississippi) watching it and complain, "those writers act like the world revolves around New York."  Little did we know what a wealth of material they have from here.

btw Jimmy doesn't
even pay rent
For starters...this year's gubernatorial race features candidate Jimmy McMillan.  He's part of "The Rent 2 Damn High" party.  No, we're not making this up...and it was on the ballot like that too.  His trademark crazy white beard and black OJ gloves are a dead giveaway if you're not sure which one he was in the debates.  In the past, NY has dealt with plenty of political scandal.  Who could forget Eliot Spitzer and his prostitute Ashley Dupre?  David Paterson became the state's first legally blind governor when he took over after Spitzer resigned...his problems have been front page press from the beginning, including that little scandal involving Yankee's World Series tickets.  Sure, every state has it's share of infamous politicians, but New York's seem to be front and center.  Of course, that could be because of those darn SNL writers too.

Let's go vote!
Our first time voting in New York was literally just steps from our apartment...the polling place was at the end of the street in our complex.  It was a nice short walk!  With all of the advances in voting, we were surprised that the ballot was just a scantron that only required you to fill in the circles.  C'mon, even Arkansas has electronic voting!

New York also has the most complicated ballot we've ever seen.  You had your choice of Democrat, Republican, Independence (not Independent), Conservative, Working Families, Green, Rent 2 Damn High, Libertarian Freedom and Taxpayers Anti Prohibition.  Be sure to notice that the "Taxpayers Anti Prohibition" party featured a marijuana leaf under the title (photo below).  Uhhhh, WTH?  And to add to the confusion, some of the candidates were listed multiple times under different parties.  We would have asked the very elderly election workers about that but they were having a hard time getting past the fact that we were married and didn't have the same last name.  It just seemed best not to bother them anymore then we had to.

Our actual ballot.
The polls stayed open until 9:00 p.m. so there really wasn't any excuse for a registered New Yorker not to show up to vote.  It's always a big decision when casting a ballot, but this time we had to consider more than just the basic qualifications...really, who was going to make the best new character on SNL?  Decisions, decisions.


  1. I hope your election experience was a lot shorter than mine. It's 1:15 a.m. and I'm still working for the morning TV story!

    It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun voting! I hope you voted for the guy I told you to vote for! :)