Thursday, October 13, 2005
LEAVE NO TRACE… Late last week Gov. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER signed SB 370, which requires California counties with touch-screen voting machines to use paper ballots in the event of a post-election recount. (Monterey County will make the switch to the electronic voting with next month’s election.)
Now, Squid’s not surprised that the Governator signed the paper-trail bill—hello, Florida 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, anyone?—but Squid was shocked to see one notable opponent to the new law: our former-Central-Coast-Senator-turned-Secretary-of-State, Republican BRUCE MCPHERSON, who urged Schwarzenegger to veto SB 370. Huh?
Upon signing the bill, Schwarzenegger said McPherson expressed concerns about the measure, and said he shared those concerns. “The most notable of these concerns is raised by the disability community on whether the voter verified paper audit trail can be adequately confirmed by sight-impaired voters,” Schwarzenegger said. “I urge the legislature, the local elections officials, and other interested parties to work with the Secretary of State to perfect a comprehensive solution for electronic voting system verification.”
Um, yeah, if they can create e-voting machines, then surely there’s technology out there to make a paper trail that will satisfy these concerns? People—and Squid—like to feel as if their vote really counts. Should McPherson decide to run for office next year, and should it be a close election, Squid’s quite sure that McPherson will change his tune.
DON’T SAY IT WITH BRACELETS… When Squid was a wee mollusk, Squid and Squid’s friends traded HOMEMADE BRACELETS—made out of string, paper clips, and even fishing lures. Squid and Squid’s friends decided this was no longer cool around age 11, and ever since then, the only thing Squid puts around one, two, three or more of Squid’s wrists is a classic timepiece. So Squid was baffled last year when ugly yellow “Livestrong” rubber bracelets started popping up on practically every male Squid ran into. Yes, Squid can hear readers saying, they’re for a good cause: LANCE ARMSTRONG beat cancer, they raised millions for cancer research. All very well and good, Squid counters, but must one look tacky while doing something charitable? How about just quietly mailing the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY a check? Of course, every other do-gooder and their dog has since jumped on the rubber-bracelet bandwagon—from pink ones for breast cancer to orangeish ones for tsunami relief. Squid wonders: when something becomes entirely ubiquitous, doesn’t its meaning diminish?
Earlier this year, WALGREEN’S took the next step, selling various colored rubber bracelets for 99 cents; bracelets that benefit absolutely no cause. Yes, you too can wear a tie-dyed rubber bracelet simply for the fashion statement alone.
But Squid’s faith in mankind was renewed somewhat a few nights ago, when a woman at a bar in Monterey rolled up her sleeve to proudly display the latest in rubber wristwear: a black bracelet simply stamped F*** BUSH. Now there’s a message Squid isn’t tired of hearing.