Yesterday, we decided to give Charlotte her civics lesson and take her with us to vote. Growing up, I was always aware that my parents voted, and I wanted Charlotte to have the same awareness of her parental units.

It was probably a mistake.

We headed over to the local middle school, both kids in tow. We had to stand in line for about 15 minutes--not too shabby, eh? Well. My (oldest) girl was, by far, the worst behaved child there. Granted, she was the only toddler, but still. I'd like to say this was offset by Lorelei being the best behaved child there, but it's hard to compete against a child sleeping in her car seat.

For the longest 15 minutes ever, Charlotte rolled around on the floor, darted out of line, mauled Lorelei's face with her stuffed purple monkey, tried wiping the floor with the monkey (question: can stuffed animals go in the washing machine?), roughly rocked Lorelei's car seat (she was strapped in, otherwise I think she would've tumbled out of it), and then voted NO on a referendum Daddy intended to vote YES on. (He let her push the buttons. He managed to figure out how to change his vote to the correct one.)

We settled in for election night results, with a couple cocktails to take the sting out the electoral map. I knew Maryland would go for Obama, and it did--by a lot--but the smaller issues were far more important to me, from a making-your-vote-count point of view.

I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative, so my ballot probably looks like a freaking hodge-podge of indecisiveness, but I assure you that each selection was carefully thought through.

I'll let you guess for whom I voted for president, senate, and house.

As for the four "questions" I voted for, I had less knowledge of how the results would go. Each ended up going my way. So there's that.

For Question B, which restricts police bargaining rights so the chief can actually direct enough officers to the crappy parts of Maryland, I voted yes. People think it undercuts unions (which I'd actually be fine with), but that's not the case--it allows management to do its job to protect Marylanders and make best decisions as far as what to do, not salaries and benefits. We won this one.

Question 4, which would allow illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition in Maryland, was another one for which I voted yes. I get the argument against it, but this is something that should be handled at the state level, and Maryland is handling it. Illegal immigrants will be here regardless, so I think it's perfectly logical to help them get educated so they can obtain higher level jobs. Then they can have the hell taxed out of them like the rest of us, adding to the state's bottom line. I'm fine with my tax dollars funding this, and I'd even go so far as to grant citizenship when they graduate and get a job. And, well, there's a fairness issue here. Denying a kid education because of immigration status--the crappy luck to have been born somewhere else--just seems mean. It passed.

Question  6 was the issue nearest and dearest to my heart: same-sex marriage. I voted yes, and was so happy that I finally got to vote on this issue. I hope the reason why is obvious: Everybody should have equal rights, regardless of who they like to kiss. It passed.

Question 7 was a bizarre one. In what (I think) was the most expensive campaign in Maryland history, the question aimed to expand gambling to include table games in the state and allow the construction of a new casino. West Virginia casinos, where this stuff is legal, sure didn't want Marylanders keeping their gambling riches in-state, so the fight got ugly and annoying. They argued that tax revenue might actually not go toward education. WTF? To me, that's not the question or issue. The point is that restricting business and the freedom to play a little black jack is stupid. The tax revenue, new jobs, and a fun place to go were icing on the cake. It passed.

I'm sure everybody is SO SICK AND TIRED of political stuff, so I'll end this post here. You're welcome.


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