Friday, November 9, 2007

Vote Early, Vote Often

I didn't have time to blog yesterday. I was busy voting, and voting, and voting, and in my spare time, voting. What could possibly have been so important to vote on? High school football of course!

The local major tv news station runs a poll each week on which high school football game to cover as the "Game of the Week". Our county's only 2 high schools, and fierce rivals, for oh, about 100 years, were up for contention. There were 7 other choices, most of which were valley schools who get their share of media attention anyway, but one other choice was our neighboring tiny county and their two schools.

There was no limit as to how many times one could vote, and I received in my email a plea from another parent to visit the news channel's website and vote for our schools, and the kids were hyping it on their myspace pages. On Tuesday I decided I might as well get in on it, cast a vote or two and see how we were doing. I was surprised to see our schools at 64,000+ votes with the other county right on our heels, and the other choices still around 1000 votes. I thought it was funny that the amount of votes exceeded the population of the counties. Our county has a population of about 47,000, the other county's population is close to 39,000. As our community's news website put it, "Pets, toddlers and possibly even the deceased are voting in this poll".

It was kind of fun voting and seeing the numbers jump ahead. The two counties were only about 200-400 votes apart at anytime I happened to check. Sometimes the other county would be ahead, sometimes we would be. Every time I checked I would vote until we reached the next 100, but soon I made my goal to vote until we reached the next 500. On Wednesday, with the poll closing on Thursday at 9pm, I would vote until we reached the next 1000. The way the numbers were constantly climbing that didn't take long.

I woke up on Thursday and we were 600 votes ahead. I spent an hour voting, took a shower and then spent another hour voting. I'm not kidding. It was ridiculous. Then I had to pull myself away and go help at Nat's kindergarten class. I saw my friend who works there (and has a kid on the football team) heading for the computer lab during her break to vote. She was just as obsessed as I.

When I got home we were trailing by 200, and the votes now numbered more than 110,000 each! I was getting a bit crazy, mumbling to the other voters through some sort of cyber-telepathy, cursing whoever was voting for the other county, and imagining who else could possibly have this much time on their hands! By Thursday afternoon we were still trailing, but I was still plugging ahead, trying to hold our ground until the teenagers got home from school and helped me out.

When Sis got home from high school, she said during one of her class periods they were released early to go to the computer lab to do some "research". Gotta love those competitive teachers!

I had to leave during the evening for my dance rehearsal and got home in time for the last hour of voting. We had jumped ahead by 2000 votes! Hurray! Not wanting to let my cyber team down, I voted like crazy for the last 60 minutes. The end results had our county teams at 139,000 and the other county's teams at 135,000. On the evening news they said the voting broke all records of their online poll by more than double.

I have to say I'm pretty proud of our little county and the other county as well. We are often ignored because of our remote location and small communities, but I think we all showed them that we are a force to contend with because we are a close knit bunch who are used to coming together for a common goal. Now I'm off to go ice my carpal tunnel I developed....

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