Topic of the week: Learning

This week brings us to the end of North Carolina's primary wars, thank goodness. To all the folks who frequent BlueNC as activists, candidates, lurkers, reporters, and more, please share what you may have learned over the past many months.


Things I've learned

Politics can be dirtier than dirt.
Racism, sexism and homophobia run deeper than I thought.
North Carolina has a new generation of amazingly talented activists.
Corporatists have both political parties in a deadly stranglehold.
When big money talks, it usually lies.

BlueNC last week

Almost hit 10,000 unique visitors. Very cool.

Among other things, I've learned

that our statewide electronic voter registration network/system (and other IT systems) are horribly flawed.

It took me three hours to vote on Saturday, and part of the reason why is because (according to the BOE representative) the state database was having trouble handling the volume of data requests from all the sites.

Of course, the fact that three sweet little old ladies were using laptops of dubious origin and dial-up connections didn't help. Plus, there seemed to be an inordinate number of people who weren't aware that being registered in Orange County (or New York) didn't qualify them to vote in Alamance County. ;/

As some of you are aware, I changed my party affiliation last Summer. I did everything by the book, going to my County BOE and filling out the proper form. A few weeks later, I received my new voter registration form, and everything was in order. So I'm thinking, "Well, at least I've got my shit together" as the line inched forward. Wrong.

When I stated my name and address, handing the lady my driver's license, passport and voter registration card, her first search produced a list of three possibles (a very old one for me, one for my son and some other guy) none of which were "active". So then she typed in the voter registration number listed on my new card, and the same three incorrect listings showed. So she got on the phone (they were making a lot of calls that day), and then we tried searching by my birth date, which produced a few dozen hits, and (luckily) one of them was the right one. So I got to vote.

It appeared that (at least) one out of ten folks who thought they were okay were having to actually (re)register Saturday, and there's no telling how many were because they couldn't be "found" in the database, like the first few attempts for me.

As a side note, last month I tried to pay my son's state taxes electronically (on the 14th), and after waiting through ten-minute intervals for each page to load, I typed in the credit card info and sent it off. But I got no acknowledgment of payment, either then or the next morning (I did this last year and got an e-mail a little while later). So, not wanting to double pay, and not wanting to be late, I called the DOR trying to find out if the payment went through. After being shunted back and forth for about 45 minutes, a lady finally admitted that no payments had been processed the day before, and that the site was still down. So I mailed a check with the return.

We're screwed

Do you know how many people will not wait to vote if they have to go through that?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Several people in line made comments

to that effect, along with things like, "You would think that people taking the time and interest to vote in a primary could expect better service than this", etc.

One of the (volunteer) ladies said something that's true but also embarassing, which was about how the individual precinct's hand-written voter lists are much easier to use in voter verification than electronic measures, which reminded me of those old 19th Century Census books. ;/

I told some folks standing in line next to me, "I wish they could just scan my brain to verify me and figure out who I wanted to vote for," but then I said, "Scratch that. God knows what other stuff they might find while doing that." :)

Bless the Pollworkers

I went out of my way to be sweet to the volunteers at my early vote location. Them being blamed for election foulups is about 100 times worse than blaming the waiter or waitress if the chef doesnt make your food right.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I agree totally

One of the things that can seriously impact the voting process is lack of volunteers. Treating them like crap is more than just unfair and rude; it can actually make things run worse in the future.

It took me two hours to vote Saturday

As I wrote in my diary that I posted here and on DailyKos, I stood in line for two hours to vote but it had nothing to do with the machines. The line was about a block long. The machines were functioning fine.

Interestingly, I did not see a single person leave the line but it was a weekend day. I'm sure on a weekday, that would not be the case.

I've learned that

I don't know much.

I cannot recognize people from their avatars or blog personalities.

Asking for parking help from the seat of a vehicle is a great equalizer between common folk and Congressmen and Judges.

Seeing and listening to the candidates in person really makes a much bigger difference than I thought it would.

I really hate negative campaign ads and whisper campaigns and rigt-wing emails and voter supression b.s. and a good candidate can lose my vote by using of any of the above.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Everything I thought I knew

Everything I thought I knew about running a campaign has been different this year.

I feel like I am walking into tomorrow knowing nothing at all. This is a tough position to be in.

"Macaca" sure as sh*t sounds racist, and Jon, here in Virginia we aren't sure if that hurts or helps a guy.


I've learned to listen more.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors


Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I've learned patience.

standing elbow to elbow with Republicans working the polling places.

Please can we see the Frank & Sam show now? Please...please...please...please...please...

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

I promised Sam

not until after the tomorrow night. We'll kick off our live blog party with it. You should see the new software gadget thingy. Greg is blogging the Clinton even t on it now.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Frank & Sam

I know what I've learned.

I stated it on another thread, and it's repeating a campaign phrase from Obama's speeches and several others. But it's more than just politics - it's life, and it's been coming for me for a couple of years.

I'm voting for what I want, not what I think I can get. That's what I'm doing in life, too - I'm asking for/going for what I want, not what I think I can get. (this has nothing to do with personal relationships, and everything to do with the rest of my life.)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Oh, Brunette

I know what you're referring to, but, girlfriend, if you're going to wake up in someone's shower, pick someone better looking!


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Well I didn't say I'd be sharing the space

I don't want that boy in there squeaking around with me.

I do want to wake up and discover that most of this hasn't happened, though.

Preach it.

And if you're going to have a shower, make it one of the ones with the multiple shower heads, coming from the ceiling, and the walls and all sides, like they show on those designer makeover shows. Then you could wake up from your dream and just enjoy a wonderful shower.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I've learned

I like to hear people unfiltered.