Editor’s Notes: Voting Early

I Was No Longer Part of the Demographic Pool

The elections are finally over. Comedian Roger Barkley once sarcastically stated, “We’ve come to the point that we’re now comfortable to broadcast commercials for every orifice of our body.” While we may be comfortable with body orifice commercials, political commercials during the recent elections have taken many people’s tolerance to a whole new level.

Political candidates and proposition issues promise us protection from everything from tsunamis, to killer asteroids, and the Ice Capades, among other unstoppable catastrophes. Of course they claim that their demented opponents were in favor these instruments of death. Yes, I may be exaggerating, but not by much.

Most of us try to stay informed and current with the issues. I just don’t appreciate the convoluted interpretations of these events by our politicians around election time. Jim Jefferies, comedian and talk show host, said, “I talk about the news. I know, I know, I don’t like it either. But, it’s important to stay informed. Otherwise, you might run the risk of one day being happy.”

Watching these special interest groups support or denounce candidates and ballot propositions is almost too much to swallow, even for 30 seconds. It’s even worse after you’ve already voted.

I voted early. Since I voted early, I’m out of the demographic pool these candidates are trying to reach. These commercials are now a waste of their money and they do nothing but annoy me. I couldn’t get to the remote fast enough when one of these informative messages, and I mean that sarcastically, came across the airwaves.

Technology has improved by leaps and bounds in previous years. Television providers know exactly what we’re watching and when we’re watching it. If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you soon realize that the ads you see are being changed according to your search history. Now, if these companies have that ability, how about cancelling political ads for those of us who already voted?

If you’ve ever watched broadcast television, either on the internet or not, you’ve undoubtedly been asked to enter a random-generated code to allow access. Once entered, you can then watch your program. Satellite television and cable have the same ability and use it to turn on and off premium channels and pay-per-view sports events. This is technology that’s readily available today.

What if you were given a unique code when you vote? You could then send this code to your cable, satellite, or wireless internet service and all political ads would then be cancelled to your location. What would they put in place of the political ads? Frankly, I don’t care. Anything would be an improvement. The ad space can be filled in with 30 seconds of dancing bears, a YouTube® video, a countdown timer, or even a blank screen. If the television provider is on their toes, they can even resell the ad space. Lord knows I would rather view another Chia Pet® commercial or Shake Weight® ad rather than watch Nancy Pelosi tell me that I have to vote a certain way or we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.

I believe this would have the added affect of encouraging more people to vote, and to vote early. The promise of no more political ads might help encourage a larger voter turnout. Imagine that if at the end of every political commercial was a tag line that said, “Tired of listening to this crap? Vote early and it will all go away.”

When I mentioned this concept to a colleague, he said that not only would he vote early, but he would be camped out on the sidewalk the night before if it meant he didn’t have to view any more political ads.

Once you’ve voted, you’ve taken yourself out of the demographic pool that the ads are trying to reach. To misquote Obi-Wan Kenobi from the original Star Wars™, “These aren’t the demographics you’re looking for. Move along.” I’ve voted. Now please leave me alone.

Marc Dodson


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