I live in what some consider to be the swingiest of swing states. Florida. For all the grief we’ve gotten over the past 8 years, some of it richly deserved, about our inability to run an election or count votes, it seems like Florida voters are still pretty darned important. Kind of like the rich relative that is of a little bit questionable capacity but everybody kowtows to because they’re rich.
I personally don’t have such a relative.
But since I live in Florida, apparently my vote is pretty important. So I’m expecting that over the next 4 days, my phone is going to be ringing off the hook, called by machines and an occasional real person trying to influence my vote.
Here’s the problem (for them). I’ve already voted.
Done. Counted. SAT-style multiple-choice ovals filled in and fed into the machine. I watched as the number ticked up to, I think, 75something as my ballot was counted. I’ve made my choice for President, for Congress, for State Legislature, for City Council, for Mayor of Neptune Beach and Neptune Beach City Council, on retaining judges, on soil and water, and a slew of amendments to the state constitution. All done. Can’t change it, and haven’t seen any compelling reason to have buyers remorse.
So, robo-callers and the occasional real person on the other end of a robo-dialer are wasting their time and money trying to convince me, and there is no way for them to know that. At least I don’t have to feel bad or guilty about hanging up on a machine.
I’m a call-screener at home. Anything that shows up as “private number” or “toll-free number” or anything else vague goes to MY answering machine. So in those cases, the machines talk to each other. I wonder if that’s how things got started in “The Matrix” … machines trying to convince one another to vote a certain way until they achieved sentience and decided they could … but I digress. I’ll only very rarely pick up the phone if I don’t have a really, really good idea who is on the other end of the line. So anything that smacks of “you can’t call me back” is largely ignored. And if a message is left, I generally find that’s the right decision.
I suppose if there is good news about this late flurry of robocalls is that it is a late flurry. Only 4 more days until they actually start counting the ballots. I might have to set my home phone to roll immediately to the machine if it gets too bad. At least the call from the First Baptist Church trying to influence my vote on Amendment 2 sounded like a real person … for the 6 words I heard before I hit the “Delete” button.
I hope at least one or two of the people I voted for win on Tuesday, and that some of the things I voted against don’t. But then everyone would like to think they’re backing a winning horse. In the meantime, a ringing telephone is an invitation, not an imperative. For the next 4 days, it’s an invitation I’m likely to decline … unless your name shows up on the caller ID.