Voting Is Gluten Free

Voter MeSo many activities are off limits or ill-advised for the gluten free: pie eating contests, food truck festivals, Taste of (insert name of city or neighborhood), the grand opening of bakeries, progressive dinners in a neighborhood where people think celiac disease is communicable, and movie night sponsored by Little Debbie. Craft day at the local elementary school also would qualify if said crafts require use of that thick white paste kids love to eat or Elmer’s Glue or even Play Doh (all very full of gluten).

One thing both gluten gluttons and gluten free gurus can enjoy is voting. At least where I live, the ballot card is plastic, the machine is, well, machineric (I made up that word), and bake sales are not allowed. You might want to use some gluten free instant hand sanitizer after your fingerprints commingle with the fingerprints of all the other voters who used the same card and machine to vote before you. Celiac disease is not contagious but dozens of viruses and bacteria are. Worse, some the medications used to treat them are not gluten free, unless you go to a compounding pharmacy and have them make a GF batch just for you (insurance may or may not apply).

It’s your civic duty. Voting, that is. Voting is a civic duty and a precious civil right. People died to protect and expand the right for all Americans–men, women, people of color, naturalized citizens, the physically and mentally ill, and people who have paid their criminal debt to society–to vote. People in other countries die in their quest to elect their national leaders. People in some states in this country are prevented from voting because unscrupulous politicos manufacture paperwork glitches (people who registered to vote can’t vote because their paperwork was “lost” or “mishandled”), or design modern equivalents to poll tests (super narrow voter registration regulations and voter ID laws, for example).

As I explained to a friend this morning, you don’t have to vote for someone in every race on the ballot. If you don’t like any of the candidates, don’t vote for any of them. But if you know at least one candidate in a race and you like what he or she stands for and believes in, then cast your vote for that person. Vote a straight party ticket or a split party ticket or a no party ticket. Ask the guy in the booth next to you who he voted for and if he actually answers and doesn’t call a poll worker over to have you escorted out, vote for that person. Even better, take a few minutes online to check out the candidates before you go to the polls. The League of Women Voters in your community likely has nonpartisan voting guides online you can consult. They won’t tell you who the better candidate is; rather, they will tell you what each candidate’s platform is and how they answered a set of standard questions. League voter guides also are super handy for understanding those densely worded referenda and amendments.

Should the state constitution be amended so as to grant homeowners an exemption in taxes proportional to the population of squirrels responsible for damaging said property, to be pro-rated by six mils of that damage as assessed during non-Leap Years?

Read the voter guide to get the pros and cons so you aren’t voting like a nut.

Even if you are feeling like a nut, vote anyway. Voting gives you both bragging and bellyaching rights. If you vote, you can complain in six or twelve months about the people in office because you either voted for or against them and they either aren’t doing what you elected them to do or of course they are wrecking the place–that’s why you voted for the other guy! If you didn’t vote, you can’t complain because you did nothing to prevent them from taking office in the first place.

There’s still time. Polls close at 7:00 pm. Voting is gluten free. So go do it!!