Far gone are the days when you could walk around proudly with an "I voted" button the day after performing your most sacred democratic duty on election day.
No, those of us lucky enough to live in one of 15 Florida counties that have bought voting machines from Election Systems & Software were given an "I voted touchscreen" sticker at our polling places today. So I got to stride confidently out of my precinct today, needing only to look down at the new decoration on my lapel to ensure myself that my voice had been heard. Whether it was heard well enough to decipher "Barack Obama" from "Pat Buchanan" is anyone's guess. It is almost but not quite as much of a scarlet letter as an "I voted butterfly ballot" sticker would be. Ultimately, the state would have been a lot better off investing in "I voted, probably" stickers a long time ago, since touchscreens, like butterfly ballots and the index cards used by the Soviet Politburo, are going to the scrapheap of discarded voting methodology, much to the dismay of fans of Filipino sweatshops.
That's right. Florida has mandated a switch to optical scan machines, which means we'll need new stickers. So maybe there's hope for the Filipino sweatshops after all. I'm fairly certain that if we don't get stickers, there will be some way we voters can be used as free billboards for corrupt, exploitative and fundamentally flawed mechanical manufacturers. I shudder to think of having to get "This vote brought to you by Ford" tattooed on my forehead in a few years. At least they could make it a foreign automaker, you know? Not to sound as though I don't appreciate American-made products, but I'm pretty sure as soon as I get the word "Ford" put on my body I will immediately lose the ability to run. Within a day or two I expect I'll only be able to lurch forward furtively every 15 or 20 seconds while making a troublesome clicking sound. Have you driven a Ford lately?
So with or without the aid of shady voting machine companies, Hillary Clinton won all the Democratic nondelegates and John McCain claimed a victory that let it be known that institutionalized cannibalism may fly for a little while in Cambodia, but Americans aren't quite ready to accept it just yet. What, you don't think Mitt Romney eats babies? Check out his health care plan. Even better news is it looks like Jeff and I were wrong about Giuliani. That means it might finally be Sept. 12, 2001 in the Republican party. Well, welcome to the future guys. Hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to use the jetpacks and hover-cars as soon as you remember you're still six and a half years behind the times. And that's just from a foreign policy standpoint. Well, good luck in Iraq, and say hello to the Taliban. Maybe you guys can talk about your 2,000 year old social positions and find some common ground. The rest of us will be waiting, but we won't be holding our breath -- we've got a whole set of new stickers to play with!