Saturday, January 15, 2005

Questionable Election Happenings

Shavua tov, everyone.

Here's a story: When I was in college, a friend of mine, whom I'll call "Friend," ran for a certain campus position against "Opponent Person." Both candidates were very popular and the campaigning was heated, though never dirty. An election committee was appointed, who sent notices to all eligible voters letting them know the dates and times during which the polls would be open. If I recall correctly, there were only two polling stations on campus, one of which was in the cafeteria of my dorm building.

On the last day of elections, I happened to be eating dinner during the polling hours, and noticed that the students manning the voting table left an hour before the polling was supposed to end! I asked them what they were doing, and they said "no one has come to vote for the last 45 minutes. It's dead today. We're leaving."

Later, Friend got a call from some underclassmen, telling Friend that a few of them had gone to vote for Friend that night, but the table had been closed.

Next day: The ballots were counted, and it was close. So close that they counted the ballots several times to be sure. And, yes, Opponent Person won by just a few votes.

Friend decided not to contest the elections, but I was really mad. Those of you who knew me in college know that my potential for getting angry back then was much more developed than it is now (or maybe I just channel it better now into things like blogging and eating chocolate). "Friend" may have been merely disappointed and cynical, but I was livid on Friend's behalf. Enraged. Purple with it. Hopping, hopping mad. Especially because I was powerless to do anything about it.

So, this story about the Palestinian elections brought back a lot of unhappy memories.

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