Sorry to have missed you yesterday. I was most of the way there when I did what I thought was pausing to shovel a little snow. That turned into a major ice excavation on the roof at work that carved majorly into time supposedly allocated to payroll . . . and well, here we are, a day late and a dollar short. Unless you work at Pat’s, where you did, eventually, receive a paycheck.
Today is an election day here in Colorado, the first of three in this year alone. Almost makes us seem like Israel, doesn’t it? I like election days a lot. It’s democracy in action, an easy and usually fairly painless way to get a say in our government, be it municipal, special district, countywide, statewide or, as today, nationally. I like to think of it as “the will of the people,” and sometimes it even is.
Unless I am mistaken, which practically never happens, this is the first presidential primary in which unaffiliated Colorado voters can participate. Actually, as I attempted to verify my statement (I don’t always say things without foundation), I need to revise that to say, this is the first presidential primary in which most Colorado voters can participate. Up until now, Coloradans have made their presidential selections through the caucus system, which is supposed to be open to all voting members of a political party but often poorly attended.
So it’s more of an historic day than I thought, but what I was starting to say was that this is the first time Coloradans who are not members of either the Democrat or Republican parties can cast a vote in one of these two primaries. Since about a third of Colorado’s voters are unaffiliated, that’s a game changer for a lot of people.
That means the only Colorado voters not eligible to participate today are those registered with the “minor” parties, such as Green and American Constitution. Although we once had a gubernatorial candidate from the American Constitution party take so many votes from the Republican candidate that the Grand Old Party came within a couple of percentage points of being relegated to minor status.
Hopefully Colorado sees a large voter turnout. I’m of the “if you aren’t going to participate, you shouldn’t be complaining” school of thought, and my proudest moment was when I finally convinced an extremely recalcitrant employee to register and actually vote.
I would say this young man’s penchant ran mostly toward anarchy, and I believe he said he only voted for two things on a rather lengthy ballot. And when one of the two things he voted against failed (meaning: took his side) by a huge margin, about 80-20, he was disgusted that he’d made the effort, even though I pointed out that 80-20 sends a pretty clear message to anyone looking to try a similar measure in the future. He left us after a year, and my guess is that he hasn’t ever bothered to vote since, but I got him to the polls at least once.
We at Pat’s do not necessarily vote as a bloc, but we are a voting bloc in that we always wait until election day, which doesn’t always make the clerk’s office and their judges happy, and then we take our ballots as a group the two blocks to the clerk’s office to cast them.
This election, it seems quite wise to have waited until today. There are 17 choices on the Democrats’ ballot and six on the Republican side. One Republican, Joe Walsh (not the singer), has withdrawn, but of the 17 on the Dem ticket, only seven remain — and two of them are named Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente III and Rita Krichevsky. Neither of them bothered to provide any information to the League of Women Voters, so I can’t tell you a thing about them, including how many ballots outside of Colorado they are on.
If you have already voted in Colorado, and voted for a Democrat who is no longer in the race, even if it’s someone who dropped out in the last four days, you are out of luck, according to the Denver County clerk, who was interviewed on TV this morning. “You can’t vote twice,” he said, a couple of times.
I have to say, I’m not terribly excited by the remaining choices. My goal, back when this campaign season started 1,000 years ago (or maybe that’s 20 billion ads ago), was to vote for someone other than an old white guy. Rita and Rocky aside, there are two options left who don’t meet that criteria, but no one seems to know or care that Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race and no smart money has been laid on Elizabeth Warren picking up a lot of traction today.
So it’s kind of down to old white guys, and while usually I am fairly confident in my votes and quite happy to help you with yours, I haven’t filled my ballot out, and I’m probably less than two hours away from voting.
This is as far as I got when the call came in from Kara that despite all our hard work on the roof yesterday, water was streaming into our retail area. None of this actually makes sense: this is the driest part of the roof, and it was still too cold for the sun and temperature to have done much melting, but that’s what was happening. As I type several hours later, it’s continuing to happen, and I don’t know how much better it makes me feel that the professional roofer who dropped everything else to come rushing to our aid doesn’t understand it either.
He has ascertained it appears to be dripping straight down from a dry roof, so now his best guess is that a pool of water lies trapped between the membrane, which he said seemed to be very professionally done and generally in good shape, and whatever roof it covers. Either way, it’s dripped at least three gallons of water into our shop, soaking a bunch of sweatshirts in the process, leaving me without time to blog, go vote or, you know, do work.
I’m sure I had further words of wisdom, but they are long gone in trips to the roof and a steady drip of water. We have pushed our voting back to this afternoon, and you will just have to guess as to what else I was going to regale you with on this Tuesday that isn’t nearly as super as when it started.
Maybe — although I hesitate to say this, especially with roof repair looming — I can get back on track tomorrow.
Don’t forget to vote. It’s your highest privilege as an American citizen.