Roeper: Reflections on another Election Day

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By Richard Roeper

It’s 2012, and my ballot looks like the menu at a breakfast diner in Greektown. An oversized, unwieldy thing filled with an overwhelming number of selections and options.

I know: some folks were lucky enough to have the modern, electronic option. Not me. I had the big giant menu and the ballpoint pen, and the instructions to connect the dots and make my selections, from my choice for president to retaining people I’ve never heard of until the very moment I was asked if I should retain them.

Meanwhile, I’m still recovering from an election judge telling me, “It’s early, and my hearing isn’t so good this early.” Wait, what? Your hearing improve when the sun comes out?

I also witnessed the amazing sight of a half-dozen voters being told their filled-out ballots were invalid, so they’d have to start all over again.

That’s right: they were literally voting early and often.Long before the polls closed, we were getting the obligatory stories about Election Day shenanigans.

A mural of the president in a polling place? Check.

Voter in a Big Bird costume? Check.

Video of a man in a gorilla suit allowed to vote? Check.

Story out of a Florida about a woman in an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) T-shirt stopped because election judge thought it was a “MITT” shirt? Check.

Charges of confusion and incompetence at some polling places? Check-check.

Our system! It ain’t perfect, but it’s better than just about any electoral process across the globe. And what a wondrous sight it was to see Americans lining up in the dark of the pre-dawn, the sunshine and rain of midday and the November gloom of evening to cast their ballots.

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