Well the deadline to register to vote has passed, which means two things.
One, no more people in purple union T-shirts asking, “Are you registered to vote? Change of address? Change of gender?” as we walk around campus.
Two, all you newly-minted Philly voters need a primer to politics in the City of Brotherly Love. Or as I like to call it, the City Where Every Vote Counts, Even if You’re Dead.
Now, I’m sure your civics teacher taught you all about the “honesty and integrity of the American election system” in high school. Sure, that sounds good, but honestly, what school has civics teachers anymore?
In 2000, as the country looked on in amazement at the chaos in Florida, we sat back here, eating cheesesteaks and laughing at the amateurs who tried to steal votes in Florida. Hanging chads? Butterfly ballots? Lame.
On Election Day in Philly, there is so much cash being passed around by campaign workers that music videos on BET look like investment banking commercials.
Before there was even talk of recounts down in the Sunshine State, we had plumbers’ union members in vans “offering” to drive people to the polls. They even helpfully suggested that “a vote for Gore is good insurance against ‘mysterious’ toilet explosions.”
Before I start getting angry letters (and a mysterious exploding toilet) from the plumbers, I’d like to point out that the plumbers working in the Student Center did a fine job installing the Temple News’ new bathroom.
In fact, I would go so far as to say it is the best example of water closet installation I have ever seen. In conclusion, please don’t hurt me.
Back to the election primer. Another tip: In many wards, poll workers are open to allowing you to vote for your dog, ferret or the snail you bought to keep the fish tank clean, provided you registered them before yesterday’s deadline.
After all, it is darn near impossible to use the electronic ballot with just one slimy pseudopod. Really, it would be downright discriminatory if you didn’t help the little guy out.
I also would like to remind out-of-towners that there is a $50 “voting privilege” fee that all new voters must pay. It isn’t mentioned on the registration form because, well, it’s not technically legal. But it’s an old local tradition. You can give your fee to your local plumber, or if you mail it to me care of The Temple News, and I’ll make sure it gets to the proper bar tab… I mean authorities. Please, cash only, and don’t ask me about it. Remember, toilets explode all the time.
Brian White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.