Su Lum: Slumming | AspenTimes.com

Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

I hand-carried my mail-in ballot over to the courthouse annex, just to make sure it didn’t get lost or didn’t have enough postage on it and to make sure it was signed correctly.

Speaking of signatures, starting Nov. 1 your travel tickets and ID are supposed to bear the exact same name – or else. I am about to go on a trip and my passport name, driver’s license name and airline ticket name are all different, one saying Susan Lum, one Susan F. Lum and one Susan Fowler Lum and there’s probably a Su Lum in there someplace. So watch out, Homeland Security is at work.

Now that I’ve voted, I am especially intolerant of the plethora of e-mails and phone calls telling me to be sure to vote, asking for money for more ad blitzes, wanting to know how I’m voting (some of them very biased). The polls were interesting for a short while, and I learned to lie about my age because they’re always filled up in their old people quotas (we’re the ones with land lines) and if I told them the truth they abruptly hung up on me. No thanks, no good-bye, just click. I don’t like that, so I changed to the 40-49 age bracket, which is wide open.

The polls fishing for information about voter feelings about Ken Buck were the most amusing. “Do you think he’s somewhat conservative, very conservative, somewhat liberal or very liberal?” “He’s an idiot.” “He’s what?” asks the lady pollster, calling from Kansas.

Some of the polls were like oral exams. “Why do you feel that way?” “Explain what you mean.” “Can you elaborate on that?” Tappity tap in the background, and you wonder if the pollster has an inkling what you’re saying – how it will come out in the finished product.

Now I listen for that telltale pause after you pick up the phone, waiting for the robo-caller to click in, and I just hang up.

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You’d think that able-minded voters can manage to get to the polls to dutifully cast their ballots without being hounded and checked on and nagged and rallied, all the while being hammered on with ads full of lies and innuendoes.

If we hadn’t torn up all the rails, they could do it the old-fashioned way, campaigning on the back of a train. When marketing took over politics, society took a few big steps backward.

My favorite elections here were back when everybody voted on Election Day, Mick Ireland did his exit polls and predicted the winners, and crowds gathered at City Hall for the returns, put up on the chalkboard, precinct by precinct, by a panting Kathryn Koch – all filmed live by GrassRoots TV. Although I voted early this year, I miss that mounting anticipation and want to know that very night what the results are. Now that I’ve voted, there’s a week of anti-climax.

To recap my endorsements of last week, I’m voting “yes” for the Democrats, “no” on all the letters (P, Q, R) and definitely “no” on all the numbered amendments and referendums, especially 60, 61, 62 and 101. “Yes” for Jack Johnson and Joe DiSalvo. “Yes” on the lodging tax, “no” on IRV (which means “yes,” keep IRV), “yes” on keeping legal notices in the paper, “yes” on the schools, “yes” on the hospital.

If I had to predict, I’d predict that the schools will pass and the hospital will go down. I predict that IRV will go down, though the murkiness of the question (“no” means “yes,” after all that wrangling about clarity) may throw that result off. DiSalvo will win by a landslide. For the others, I just hope.

Whatever happens, our local votes should go unchallenged. The ongoing flap about our elections last May has not been productive – let’s hope this one rests in peace.