A few things...
You could really tell that Bellefonte West mattered more to the Democrats than the Republicans. The Republican presence was effectively me, and I'm technically a Democrat. There were three Democratic pollwatchers, two for the party and one for "Rich Rogers", although it turned out that the guy didn't even know Rogers to see him, and was just there on a certificate signed by Rogers instead of the party. In addition, there was a rolling two-to-three activist presence outside of St. John's, doing whatever it was that they do out there outside of the ten-foot-limit, which got stretched to more like eighty because of the long, easy-to-block entrance passage to the basement of the church, enclosed on both sides by tall stone walls. I didn't get out there, so all I knew of what they were doing was through the occasional campaign sticker appearing on a voter, and the yellow paper whatever-it-was everybody was clutching.
The judge of elections made a fuss if she noticed someone wearing electioneering gear, so I didn't make myself too obnoxious on the subject, even though they were technically violations. She had to make a minor scene when the Democratic candidate for the local state rep. district, Rich Rogers, came in with his family, all of them wearing various campaign stickers and buttons. This isn't his first campaign, and he should know the electioneering laws by now; he had no business hauling his little daughter into a polling precinct wearing advertising for his campaign. I am much happier about my vote for Benninghoff now that I've seen what an idiot Rogers can be in action.
The other particularly interesting voter we had come through Bellefonte West was an honest-to-god skinhead Nazi. Shaved bald, long, villainous chin-beard, and a dark green approximation of a Waffen-SS "Tottenkopf" uniform, complete with stylized "SS" insignia, and bloused into his combat boots, paratrooper-style. When the lady collecting ballots for the box asked him what the get-up was about, he mumbled something about "army". Pretty much all the poll-workers and watchers were bug-eyed, including me, and both I and my Democratic opposites rushed to make sure that he wasn't on our lists. He wasn't - he was an independent. My best guess, based on the uniform color, was that he was a "Green" - after all, Hitler had been an environmentalist.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
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