Rattle the Vote

I don’t know about you but it feels as though this election season has been going on forever. Candidate after candidate can be seen stumping for votes. They take time visiting with the people shaking hands, kissing babies, and stating their qualifications that would get them elected. Signs are appearing all over town as people stand behind their favorite candidates hoping to get them elected. There is of course talk of corruption and buying the voters with promises of prosperity. It just seems as though these elections have gotten more bitter as time has gone by. It is no longer enough to campaign and hope people relate to your stance on the issues. No now the candidates make outrageous promises and voters want to know what is in it for them if they throw their support behind a candidate. At least I know my family’s votes cannot be bought. Well I did think that until this weekend, now I am not so sure.

This is Dakota’s favorite time of year to go to the ballpark. School is winding down and a little boy’s heart turns to baseball and playing in the sun. Not only are the games exciting to watch, but it is also time for All-Star voting to begin. Friday night marked the first night that all-star ballots were available to the fans. Diamondbacks players are at somewhat of a disadvantage. Arizona does not draw the multitude of fans that other baseball cities do meaning their position players do not garner near the number of hometown votes as say New York or Los Angeles. The Diamondbacks are trying to change that this year by offering an opportunity to win valuable prizes for turning in a certain number of ballots. For each 50 ballots turned at Chase Field you will be entered into a drawing for prizes such as autographed merchandise, an opportunity to be down on the field with the security guards, be a guest announcer for an inning, or my personal favorite throwing out a first pitch. If you are one of the first 1,000 fans to turn in 250 all-star ballots you are given a voucher for a free Arizona Diamondbacks license plate. Of course my car already has a personalized Diamondbacks license plate but Trina’s car still has the standard Arizona plate. Dakota and I decided that Trina really needed a new license plate so we made it our goal to complete 250 ballots. On our way out of the stadium on Friday Trina and I grabbed stacks of ballots. We took them home and Dakota and I spent the evening punching our votes. After a long discussion it was decided that we were going to vote a straight Diamondbacks ticket in the National League. Since Bud Selig insists on tying the home field advantage in the World Series to an exhibition game we decided that we would stack the deck in the favor of the National League. We therefore went through the standings to find the team with the worst record in baseball whose manager is rumored to be imminently fired. The team that came up was the Texas Rangers. We therefore took our 250 ballots and voted for every Texas Ranger we could find. Our theory is that the National League all-star team should be able to beat the Texas Rangers which would guarantee us a deciding game 7 if necessary in the World Series. We got to the ballpark and turned in our ballots. I felt good knowing that the Diamondbacks players would at least get a little love at the ballot box. I felt pretty good at voting all Texas Rangers too as I was sure that these were probably the only votes Milton Bradley would ever receive unless his mom votes. We happened to be one of the first 1,000 fans so Trina will be getting a Diamondbacks license plate. Dakota was so excited he decided he would fill out a few more ballots. By the time the game ended he had voted nearly 600 times. He has been entered into the drawing for the prizes and we came away quite satisfied. For at least a little while I felt like a voter in Chicago stuffing ballot boxes and being bought and paid for. This is what makes politics so interesting in this country.

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