As you likely heard on the news, there were very long lines in California, in part because so many people voted, but mainly because it was a new system, and there were screw-ups. To off-set them, California also instituted early voting for five days -- and in some areas for 11 days. And they also sent everyone a vote-by-mail ballot. And you could vote at any Election Center in your city, let alone in the state. Still, though, most people waited to Election Day.
The Los Angeles Times wrote an article on it.
Readers of these pages will know that I often write about my friend Myles Berkowitz who, among his many other talents, is a unique individual with a unique personality and very politically-centered and active. He is neither a Democrat, Republican or even an Independent, but what I refer to as a Mylesist, a unique political philosophy that encompasses one person and can probably only ever be understood by one person. He will often register as a Democrat to vote in the primaries, but he is most definitely not a Democrat. In fact, I'm sure he'd register as a Republican if he felt their primary was the more important one. (For all I know, he has, though I don't think so.)
I mention all this because that quote above used in the Los Angeles Times headline is from -- Myles Berkowitz! (Hey, I've told you want a unique guy he is. I tries nots to lie to you.)
You can find the full article here, but this is the passage that deals with Myles --
What should have included in the article next was --
Said his friend Bob Elisberg – “I told Myles to vote early and that the Felicia Mahood Center was close to him. And I even told him that I myself had voted early there, and that I was only the only voter at the center at the time. (In fairness, it was an early Sunday morning.) And today on Election Day when he called to tell me how much-too crowded the Hammer was and that he wanted to find someplace else to go, I told him again that he should go to the Felicia Mahood Center…which he did! But he didn’t stay there. I told him. I told him. I told him. Not that I want to say 'I told you so,' or anything, mind you… But I’ll bet you cash money that he’s complaining to you about how screwed up the new voting system is. But I told him!! Not that I want to say, 'I told…' oh, you know. He’s a good guy, and I feel for him. I’m really sorry he had to go through all that.” Elisberg turned to walk away, but then stopped and turned back. “But I told him.”
Okay, in fairness to Myles, he had a few funny comments that he told the reporter who left them out of the article. One thing was that he said, "I took my 14-year old daughter with me to vote. But it was taking so long I had to leave her back at home. By the time I finished she'd have been able to vote herself."
Another was -- "We often read about how in Third World nations there are people who walk across the countryside to get to a polling place just so that they can cast their ballot. They voted faster than I did."
And then, since jokes come in threes, he added, "I think the State of California intentionally made this as terrible as possible because they want to convince people to vote by mail."
I will do Myles one other big favor. The only thing about the article that bothered him is that it identifies him as a Bill Clinton voter in 1992 -- who he hates (though being a Mylesist nonetheless begrudgingly supported). So, I thought I'd be nice to the guy, given how long it took him to vote, driving around town from one polling place to another, and clarify that point publicly for him.
When I spoke with him this morning, I had one question that bothered me -- how was he able to vote, I thought one had to be in line before 8 PM to be allowed to vote after the cut-off . "I did, I finally got in line by the deadline," he said. Ahh, I replied, when we talked during the evening, I had thought he wasn't in line before 8 PM. He burst out laughing, "I was in THREE lines before 8 PM. I just kept leaving them."
So, finally did get to vote and at last got home. The good news is that he did not leave it in order to find another home that was more convenient.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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