The morning after...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The morning after...

...or, Election Day Notes, part the second:

Tough day at the Westhampton Beach fire­house (E.D.s #10, #14, #30 and #37), mostly because of the inconsistent flows of voters.

One of the first orders of business was the removal of a phalanx of signs placed in front of the bowling alley opposite the polls, well with­in the 100 foot "No Electioneering" zone. There were five each for incumbent Southampton Town Supervisor Patrick "Skip" Heaney and Town Board candidate Jim Drew, both running in the Conservative Row D, and the Dems' top slot guy, Jim Henry. They were so neatly and equitably interspersed that either one signage team handled both parties' placements, or one could envision the competing crews showing up almost simultaneously and rather than tossing fingers or playing "paper/rock/scis­sors" to see who would get a strategic ad­van­tage, just chose on an equitable arrangement.

No matter... by 0600 hours all 15th signs, plus, to be on the safe side, a miscellaneous one for Mr. Henry, were in the fire district's dumpster.

One of the first official presences was the appearance of a Deputy Sheriff and an español-fluent Anglo-Democratic "Custodian of the Voters" who were making the rounds of the polling locations replacing the Spanish language abstracts of the ballot propositions because someone had, the afternoon before, spotted an omission in the text of Proposal 1.

Signage required by Federal Election Law

(This raises a related issue, one which caught the attention of a number of others including new Westhampton Beach Planning Board Chairman Ralph Neubauer who, upon entering the polling place, as is his style, com­ment­ed loudly: "Aqui?!?" The two ground signs mounted before the fire­house not only read "Vote Here" but "Vote Aqui." Yeah!, I know it's Federal Election Law, but there is something ser­iously wrong here when one needs to have one simple word translated into an­other language when one of the require­ments of United States citizenship is to have the ability "to read, write and speak English." More on this later.)

After a first spate of early-birders who knew their duty and did it so that they could get off to jobs and responsibilities elsewhere, there was precious little traffic 'til early afternoon, probably due in greater part to the miserable weather.

Then it picked up, slacked off a bit only to come back strong late in the afternoon and stay busy 'til it was winnowed down to stragglers over the last 45 minutes.

(One voter in particular made a special effort to introduce himself to me, the Westhampton Beach "Union Free" School District's Board of Education member Clint Greenbaum, whose E-mail activism on behalf of the Westhampton Free Library's $7,827,820 bond referendum has received critical notice here of recent. He was personable and with an abundance of good humor... with per­haps a little "edge" to it... as he asserted that he recognized the value of electronic communications in this Information Age and had on his own been collecting local E-dresses. Whether his partisan activities should be referred to the School District's attorney for investigation is still open, but that won't be decided until after tomorrow's vote on whether the District should return the taxpayers' $800,000, or re-purpose it to a different project.)

In the final analysis, the Westhampton Beach polling location ran about 800 voters through the firehouse, volunteers from which were very helpful and generous, allowing access to their private stash of bottled water, and construct­ing a more visible traffic flow down the impro­vised "Access Ramp," a piece of plywood which depressed enough when weight-bearing that it destabilized some of the older, less sure-afoot voters entering the interior of the trucks bay.

(One cane-assisted Senior reminded me of Janis Joplin on the turn-table stage of the Singer Bowl back in '68. When the floor started to move beneath her, she grabbed for something to hold onto, came up empty and sat straight down, latched onto her bottle of Southern Comfort, and tried to regain her com­posure as Big Brother and the Holding Company played on around her. Yester­day's prospective voter managed to remain upright, but for that one moment shared with the late singer that stricken look of uncertainty.)

And once again Town GOP Chairman Marc Stinchi remembered those in the front-line trenches and sent in a platter piled high with cold cut heroes for the poll workers for dinner... earlier Buddy Mazzio had taken the edge off staffers' hunger pangs with a couple of plates of tasty cookies, courtesy of the Conservative Party. Upon reflection, only "the Party of the Little People" neglected the "little people," at least in the firehouse!

(Memo to Mike Anthony: tha's a joke, son, I say, tha's a joke!)

So now we sit back and watch the lawyers fast-rope out of black helicopters into Yaphank next week for the divvying up of the 654 ab­sentee ballots to learn the verified make-up of the Southampton Town Board come January.

The bet here is that whatever the outcome there, someone's attorneys will have the re­sults in the courts 'til after Thanksgiving!


1. Matlynn Carville said...

Maybe Mike Anthony realizes we have too many overweight Americans, and has the good sense to hold onto his party's savings, pay off their bills, keep a zero balance on his Democratic credit card, and exercise his staff at least three times a week. Gotta get in shape to get the hope of America's future, Barack Obama, in office!

O, sweet honey mustard!
If you truly feel that Barack Obama is America's "Great 'Person of Color' Hope," then not only has the Democratic party lost hope, then so has much of America!

2. Clint Greenbaum said...

Dean, Thanks for the plug. I'll send you my current e-mail urging a YES vote for the special referendum if you send me your e-mail address so that you can get the whole piece on your blog. I might not have all the e-mail addresses of your readers. Sincerely, Clint Greenbaum

3. Mike Anthony said...

Hey Dean, We need to build up a war chest. I was going to ask Marcus if he could feed the Democratic Committee. Mike

4. Matlynn Carville said...

Sweet honey mustard back at you, Speir! After nigh near eight years of divisiveness, bloodshed and and bumbling, an honorable and gifted statesman like Barack Obama, unsullied by scandals, and smart and youthful enough to seek creative solutions dismissed by creaking old war lords is JUST what this nation needs. I respectfully request you listen to this fellow. He's NOT the pawn of unions, his campaign funds are NOT sullied by Chinese millionaires or Pharmaceutical/Big Corporate donations, and it's a JOY to listen to him think aloud in glorious, intelligible English about getting our young heros out of the Middle East. He's fast and "with-it." No BS, honest, earnest. I have heard from many a Republican, so upset with what has happened to our country, express interest in the man as a Presidential caliber candidate they could vote for. It's not about color; it's about his skills, character, brains, potential, and leadership. OK; I'll stop campaigning now, Thank you very much for sharing your blogspace, man.

It's very simple, Madame… I will not support anyone running for public office who doesn't trust citizens with firearms. Yes, he's articulate, probably a very bright guy… but he comes across as a big a socialist as the Democratic front-runner, Mrs. Clinton. Not interested, thank you!

5. Tugboat Bertha said...

Barack Obama is not black. He doesn't say anything that indicates he even identifies with black people. Why is Oprah supporting him? Just because he "looks" black? Other than his skin, he is NOT a black man. If Bill Cosby were running, he'd get my vote!

6. Matlynn Carville said...

Why yes to Bill Cosby and NOT Barack Obama, Tugboat? They seem to be on the same philosophical page. I agree with you that some blacks dismiss Obama as not being "black enough." They're not alone in their bias'. People do this stupid dissing stuff all the time. Some black people also get mad at Bill Cosby for being judgemental about educational standards. I'd vote for him, too.

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