ELEVENTH IN LINE
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A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
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Sunday, October 31, 2004
A proposal I'd vote for Election Season Extended -- Candidates, Voters Demand Answers
Columbus, OH -- The observation of Daylight Savings Time has forced the election season to be extended by an hour as of 2am this Sunday, thanks to an antiquated piece of World War I era legislation and an act passed by often-criticized then-President Richard Nixon.
"I can't believe I have to live through another hour of this nightmare -- that's probably worth ten or fifteen poorly made commercials filled with overblown and unprovable accusations, in the middle of my shows!" Ms. Keira Thomas of Gahanna exclaimed when we spoke to her, and other local citizens, at area malls this Saturday. "Why couldn't they have put this extra hour after the election?"
Why, indeed? Libertarian Franklin County Board of Supervisors candidate Shoshona Richards has joined forces with her Constitution Party and Independent opponents in adding this issue to their platforms: "Even if I lose -- which I mean, you know, is going to happen this time, I'm pretty sure -- you have to admit, it's a real problem. I don't ordinarily like letting government fix anything except their own messes, but you've gotta understand, this is one of their messes."
She and her fellow third-party candidates are pushing the front-runners in their race to pass a resolution delaying all future Daylight Savings Time changeovers to happen in such a way that they won't frustrate voters in Presidential election years. "It just says that in national election years, Daylight Savings Time within the county limits won't go into effect until 2am the day after the election," Ms. Richard's Independent opponent, Douggie Sandler, explained on Friday. Ohio's election season, which starts at the beginning of March, would be shorter by an hour each national election year if the national election happened before the Daylight Savings switch, instead of after, as it does now.
Backers are hoping that other counties in Ohio will follow Franklin County's lead before the 2008 election, which already promises to be contentious.
"It's going to be impossible to retain our sanity as it is, no matter who wins this year," political analyst Debbie Carson told us on Friday at her Columbus office. "If Kerry wins, the Republicans will go crazy, and we'll be looking at anti-Kerry ads two years before the election actually starts. If Bush wins, we'll have to sit through the nightmare that will be constant anti-Hillary Clinton attack ads. It seems small, but an extra hour added to that, right near the end, is enough to cause serious stress to the voting public."
Most of the Board of Supervisors candidates we spoke to said this proposal was necessary almost entirely because Ohio's a swing state, subjected to extra attention. All of them said they felt that the sheer amount of political coverage has caused real harm to Ohio's residents. Psychiatrist Rudolph Adams agrees.
"It's a perception thing, sure, but all of my patients were sick of this election a month ago. One of my guys has seven personalities -- we've made real progress this week, because they finally all agreed on one thing: this election has got to end as soon as possible. Of course he's got some problems connecting to reality, and half of his personalities have formed a rebellion; they insist that the election is already over, and won't do anything at all until the others agree. It's really a nightmare. My schedule is so full this week; the only reason I'm taking time out to vote is because if I don't, there seems to be a chance that we'll have to extend the election past this Tuesday to figure out who really won. Now, while I'd really like to be able to finally afford that yacht I've always wanted, I'm not sure my own psyche could handle another month of this."
The backers of the Franklin County proposal admit there are some problems with their plan. The Uniform Time Act of 1974 makes it clear that it is the state government that dictates whether it will participate in Daylight Savings or not. The time of observance isn't up for debate -- it's spelled out quite clearly. But the proposal's supporters just don't care. "They can say it's an hour earlier all they want, I guess," Ms. Richards conceded. "But we're just not going to agree. From the last Sunday in October, 2008, until the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November, we'll all pretend they're not talking."
Some members of the Board of Supervisors are concerned about the precedent such action might set: "What's next, are we going to just decide that some Presidential candidates aren't running for office, and take them off the ballot?" asked an annoyed staffer who asked to remain annonymous. "We can't dictate the terms of our reality. We have to submit to the will of the universe." The proposal's supporters remain unconvinced.
"That's just the rantings of an uninspired bureaucratic underling. The Peter Principle, remember that..." was the response we got from Independent candidate Sandler.
In general, most people we asked thought that putting off that extra hour of time by a half week was a great idea. "Every second we don't find ourselves sitting through a campaign commercial, talking to a pollster, or watching a demonstration or rally completely disrupt traffic, is a great thing," Westerville resident Sandy Gilbert said outside of the Easton Wendy's. "I almost feel like they're stealing my life from me with this adding an hour deal. Why can't they wait a week? The only people who'll be complaining are the guys who sell earplugs and antiacid."
The Democrat and Republican running for the seat Richards and Sandler are competing for declined to comment on the proposal, for fear of having to spend more money on last-minute radio spots on the subject. Regardless of how the proposal pans out, backers are already looking to the future. "If it can't get through the board of supervisors, we'll just take it to the state house. Or maybe a referendum or something. I don't care -- I just don't want to have to endure any more election season than is absolutely necessary." Backers are also looking into the possibility of having Ohio's election take place on the Friday before the Daylight Savings switch each year. "Whatever it takes," Richards vowed. "Whatever it takes."
(yes, that was a parody -- but you try living in Ohio during a national election and THEN tell me it's not a good idea, darn it)
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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.