Step Up to the Window and Place Your Bets

I love Election Day. I know it’s deeply dorky, but it’s the one time of year that I feel somewhat optimistic about this country because I can see for myself that people are taking part in the democratic process.

I love that people still volunteer to work the polls each year, and that people still take the time to vote. I was especially cheered to see people voting this morning given that there was no California State election and most of the City’s propositions were terribly mundane.

It’s particularly fun to vote in San Francisco. You don’t just vote at the boring old local school or library here. Depending on where you live in SF, you may get to vote in someone’s garage, at a nearby Starbucks, or once my polling place was a Ford dealership. I walked through a long line of new Fords and eventually I came to a row of voting booths.

San Francisco also comes up with the best candidates (and by best, I mean, strangest). The choices for Mayor in this year’s Voter Information Pamphlet read like The Onion. We could have a “Vegan Cab Driver” whose first name is Grasshopper or a man who refers to himself as Chicken John and lists his occupation as “Showman”. Or, we could opt for the “Writer/Nudist Activist” whose only goal as Mayor is to make Golden Gate Park nude-friendly, or the owner of a sex club who says his “adult sexual liberation experience shows my capacity to embrace every kind of alternative lifestyle”. There’s also the usual florist/coffee farmer, college professor and of course, there’s also the incumbent who has used his four years in office to show that he is a complete douche.

Happily, San Francisco also offers ranked voting which means that for a position like Mayor, we get to choose three (!) possibilities from the astounding list of characters.

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