If you want the votes, take name off ballot

March 09, 2004|by TIM ROWLAND

Elizabeth Lay, call your service.

Elizabeth - dah-ling - you won more than 2,100 votes in the primary race for the Board of Education, even though you dropped out of the race nearly two months before. Doesn't that tell you something? The people want you! You have to run for something again - anything.

You beat three other candidates who still were in the race. With another 500 votes or so, you would have passed one of the incumbents. With another 800 votes, you would have made the cut and moved on to the general election in the fall.

Now that's what I call impressive. How many votes couldn't you have received if you had stayed in the race?

Who knows what goes on in the minds of voters?

Maybe they thought they were voting for Kenneth Lay and wanted someone with experience on the board. Or, seeing as how this is overly fed Washington County, maybe they thought they were voting for Frito Lay.


Connie Jantz, who dropped out of the race on Feb. 16, got another 1,800 votes. Together, the two women who weren't in the race beat eight other candidates.

Just for fun, next year the election board ought to put Chester A. Arthur on the ballot to see how many he'd tally. Probably more than a few. This is, after all, Hagerstown, where half the population believes Elvis still hasn't left the building.

I personally know of one person who voted for Elizabeth Lay (and if my column is missing next week it was because I was murdered for telling you this) - it was the David Broder in High Heels.

I said, "Hey, way to keep up with local politics; she dropped out two months ago. So who do you like for Congress, Beverly Byron?" At least I got most of the sentence out before she brained me in the coconut for being a jerk.

Apparently the new voting machines were a hit, too, although I heard one guy say he couldn't tell whether he was casting a ballot or ordering a sub from Sheetz.

"I thought I was voting for Roscoe Bartlett and I got a turkey and Swiss," he said.

I can't say firsthand, because frankly I (cover your ears, children) didn't make it to the polls. I thought about it, briefly, but when you are a cross between a Green and a Libertarian - I call us Ecotarians - the ballot fare makes you feel like a lion at a salad bar.

And I just don't know about computerized voting machines. I'd be afraid that by the time I finished the ballot I would have 12 spams telling me I could have larger breasts.

At about 10 p.m. I tuned in to see who had won. All the Super Tuesday states seemed to have significant percentages of the ballots counted - but not Maryland, which showed zeros across the board.

Funny, for some reason I assumed the computers would be faster. You know, kind of like one of those "instant polls" that gauges people's opinion on crucial issues of the day, such as whether or not they think Sen. Kerry gets Botox injections.

Then I got scared. What if the new voting software were designed by Microsoft? I could just hear Peter Jennings saying, "We don't know what happened, but it seems the entire state of Maryland has just gone for Lyndon LaRouche." My fears were eased somewhat, when I figured there was little chance of this, since if Microsoft did the programming, the system probably would crash before any votes were counted, so no harm, no foul.

Shameless plug: I'll be at Waynesboro Area Senior High School Saturday, March 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. to sign copies of my book, "Petrified Fact," to benefit Easter Seals of Franklin and Adams counties.

It's part of the 46th annual "For Those Who Care" Dinner, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Waynesboro. Tickets for the dinner are $5 for adults and $3 for kids younger than 12. They are available at the door or from any Rotary Club member. The menu includes pork and sauerkraut, green beans, applesauce, drinks and dessert.

Those who do not like pork and sauerkraut may help themselves to the green beans.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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