Here in North Carolina early voting for the Republican Presidential Primary, as well as Amendment 1, is winding down, with Saturday being the last day for early voting. It seems that people’s bad behavior is winding up as the voting winds down. Don’t worry. I’m not about to go off on a tangent about who to vote for or how to vote on the amendment.
The bad behavior was featured in the local paper today; apparently people on both sides of the amendment issue are stealing and vandalizing signs, or even going so far as to replace a sign with a sign promoting the opposite side. Once you get past the fact that it’s illegal, juvenile, and just plain rude, there’s a certain element of humor. At least there is in my (warped?) mind. Think about it, you go to bed with your yard signage firmly declaring you to be on one side of the issue, and wake up suddenly on another.
We don’t have any yard signs for any candidates or in support of or opposition to the amendment (see, I told you I wouldn’t spout my opinion). But I can’t help wondering how I might react if we did and someone stole, vandalized, or switched it. I have to say the switching is probably the one that would cause the strongest reaction.
I’d probably notice it when I left for work in the morning, which isn’t exactly the highlight of my day anyway. I’m guessing there’d be a “WHAT?!?!” moment as I re-read the sign, and then threw the car into park (probably spilling my morning Coke all over myself in the process) to run remove the sign before anyone saw, or it further tainted our yard. But then what? Do you destroy the sign? Take it to the landfill? Drive around the neighborhood looking for someone with the opposite sign (which is actually the right sign for you) and ask if the same thing happened to them, and see if they’d like to trade? Do you just throw it away and go buy a new sign? Do you replace it with not one, but two, new signs to further state your point?
I also have to wonder about the people stealing, vandalizing, and switching signs; who in the world does that? How do they have the time to do something so pointless and trivial, with the added factor of possible criminal charges if they’re caught? What do they hope to accomplish?
Wondering what they hope to accomplish leads me to the parking lot stalkers; the people who set up outside the polling places holding signs (I guess they hold on to them so nothing happens to them) and approaching people to tell them how to vote. I have to say, personally, this is very off-putting for me. I don’t like to be approached by strangers in a parking lot. Does anyone really? And a lot of people have to do a lot of juggling to squeeze voting into their day; it’s important and well worth it, but those of us on a serious time crunch don’t appreciate being slowed down by people in the parking lot.
Furthermore, does anyone actually show up at the polling place not knowing how they plan to vote on an amendment? They took the time to drive there; one would assume they have an opinion. Do the parking lot stalkers really think someone is going to vote the way they’re “encouraged” to in the parking lot? Or that it’s like watching a pizza commercial, where you suddenly think ‘yeah, that sounds really good’ all because someone was louder, or had a shinier sign?
I just don’t understand people’s behavior about voting. On one hand I think it could be very interesting to work at a polling place, but on the other hand people’s bad political behavior could get really old really fast. Here’s looking forward to May 9, 2012, and the temporary respite it will bring.