A friend from college followed up on my civic-responsibility/bees-in-bonnets saga to ask about what the real results ended up being for the Amelia County, Virginia polling during the 2012 presidential elections. The results on the State Board of Elections site are still unofficial. I did notice that the number for Amelia has changed, though… by exactly two votes. The 2012 result (linked below), now reads 2,490 instead of 2,488. I take this to mean that someone at the State Board (sort of) took my point about how bad it looks to have duplicate counts two elections in a row.
2008 results for Amelia:
(Updated) 2012 results for Amelia:
This reminds me of once when I was in college; I went to an Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House with a couple of friends late at night. We hadn’t been drinking or anything, just out late and hungry. I tell this story a lot, so sorry if you have heard it.
I ordered a half a grapefruit, but when the waitress brings it to me it’s cut lengthwise instead of cross-wise. I search her face to see if she knows whether this is incorrect. Not for reasons of protocol, but for practicality. She shows no sign of acknowledgement. So I am forced to just dive in with, “Ehmm… look, I know this might sound weird, but… the grapefruit is cut wrong.” She looks at me like I’m a total jerk. “No, seriously, sorry, but. It’s supposed to be cut horizontally, not vertically.” (I had to stop myself from saying it’s supposed to be cut ‘at the equator.’) “Like, it’s way easier to eat with a spoon that way…you can’t… you can’t really do that when it’s cut…” [giving up]
She picks up my somewhat lopsided, longitudinally cut grapefruit and takes it back to the kitchen. When she comes back, she’s carrying: the other half.
That was my cue to shut up and go hungry. I could have just cut it into wedges at the table with a pancake knife and eaten it that way. I didn’t really want to take any chances, though, about what else besides being cut wrong might have happened to the fruit back in the kitchen.
In this case, regarding my voting office and the State Board, my cue to hush will mainly be the fact that the State Board of Elections actually called me (explaining what I had correctly interpreted from their bureaucrat code-switching). That was good of them. But yes, it does also occur to me that like this year’s ballot, my future absentee ballots will have my name written on them.