I voted, and more (Part 1)

Michael Gollin
November 2016

I voted two weeks ago by absentee ballot because it would be too complicated with my wife and nurse and power wheelchair and quadriplegia. Jill had to fill in the blanks and swear that the choices were mine. She threatened that if I said Trump, she would fill in Clinton. Fat chance.

In 1972, I learned from friends how to take a bumper sticker for war monger Buckley, turn the stars in the flag into a peace sign, and cut off the ‘ley’, and edit the B to an F with white scraps. When we saw a car with a Buckley sticker, it was our political speech to paste the peace sign over the flag, and the edited Buck before the Buckley. This vandalism satisfied my teen antiwar rebelliousness.

In 1976, I voted for the first time. It was Carter and as I recall, Republican Frank Horton ran unopposed for congress. I voted absentee from college. Later, I joined Horton as a partner at Venable. He was a good man.

I was in Switzerland in grad school in 1980 when I was shocked by Ronald Reagan’s election, so much so that I decided to leave my biology studies and return to the USA and enter law school to become an antidote.

I discovered in law school in Boston that I could be an official partisan poll watcher and I signed up for the mayoral race in about 1983. I spent a few hours at a downtown poll for half a day. The duties were to watch the official administrators to see if they were being fair, and to counsel people who had problems. Mostly that meant giving a phone number for a phone bank with people who could help. My candidate lost.

In New York in 1988 I did canvassing by phone, calling to see how people expected to vote and encourage them to do so.

(Look for part 2 soon.)