I don’t mean to be a naysayer when it comes to the importance of voting. It’s just the whole experience was disappointing this time around.

Not because it was brief. Some of my best moments have been brief. But see, they used the old lever machines the last two elections, the type you find in news photographs from the ’50s; big, metal, Marvel villain-shaped behemoths that don’t look complete without iconic political figures emerging, smiling, after voting (presumably for themselves). Soviet-looking, oversized, brute force mechanisms that were reintroduced, despite being illegal, for vague logistical reasons back in September (for the primary) and October (for the run-off).

Now, it’s November and my polling place, the same one as last month and the month before, greeted me and co-voters with tiny, low-tech podia on which we marked paper ballots we were forced to carry by hand to a scanner that absorbed our decisions and, at nearly one-eighth light speed, tossed them in the direction of Voter Central, where they take permanent residence in the “Brain of Democracy,” which floats in unspecified solution there.

Not nearly as cool as the old machines, know what I’m sayin’?

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