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Wow. A couple of poorly chosen quotes about yesterday's events in the local papers, and now I'm being mocked as an idiot on blogs from coast to coast (seriously, Technorati is bringing me down today).

Most of the various media outlets and bloggers are playing this story for laughs (Invisible ink! Oh, that Chicago!), but really, if your vote got fucked up because some election judge lied to you, would you be amused?

Now, because my name is attached to the story (and the quotes make me sound like a giddy little moron who just did as she was told), I'm becoming the symbol for whatever gripe particular bloggers feel like griping about: crazy Chicago politics, Democrats, Obama supporters, uneducated voters, whathaveyou. What a feeling that is! I wish I could bottle it. And set it on fire.

I mean, in a country where bringing a full bottle of shampoo onto an airplane makes you a terror suspect, is it really all that far-fetched that some election official might have decided we need to make ballots extra private and unreadable except to machines? Or that maybe someone from the invisible ink industry made huge donations to the Daley campaign? (That's how we ended up with all the wrought-iron fences, right?) That's what I meant when I told the Sun-Times that magic pens sounded just stupid enough to be true.

Anyway, for reasons ranging from being lied to to just not thinking clearly at 7 am, I got screwed yesterday, and I fought back. And now I'm an object of ridicule from the neighborhood jagoff's* blog (the execrable Morse Hellhole) to Wonkette.

So the moral of the story is: Never try.

No, wait! The moral of the story is: Who gives a rat's ass what people think?

I'd do it again, people. It was the right thing to do.

You gotta fight. For your right. To vooooooooooote! Just watch what you say to the media afterwards.

*Just for clarification here, I have never actually seen the Morse Asshole drunk. I'm not sure what fuels his petty rage, but maybe it's not booze. That's just what everybody says about him. So to give him the benefit of the doubt, I changed "drunk" to the all-purpose Chicago insult "jagoff." I've seen plenty of evidence that he's a jagoff. He's still calling me stupid, however.

Replies: 22 Confessions

You go girl!!! I would expect nothing less from you.

Mom C @ 02/06/2008 03:49 PM CST

Thanks, mom!

Amy C @ 02/06/2008 03:55 PM CST

I was telling your story to everyone down here in Florida yesterday about how you got robbed out of your vote. Sorry you got the backlash.

Vote on my friend.

ramer @ 02/06/2008 04:18 PM CST

Ya know, it's incidents like this that turn people away from voting. And when you have a society of people who don't vote, do you think they'll do anything else for their country?

Tori and I are thrilled you reported on those idiots, and we're proud to call you our friend. You give me names, just give me names, and I'll out take my old baseball bat and clobber dumbass election monitors left and right, pounding their skulls into leaky pudding and - what, sweetie? AW, fer cryin' out-- er, I'll circulate a petition. Sigh.

Reverend H.L. Spork @ 02/06/2008 05:59 PM CST

Dear Amy Carlton,

Hello Rogers Park/49th Ward neighbor. Yesterday, I read a news media account of what happened to you in our ward’s 42nd Precinct.

Today, I’ve read local and national blog accounts that aim to make fun of both the magic pen mystery, and you as well. I’m sorry that some labeled you “stupid” and made other unwarranted and unkind comments.

I thought, “What a courageous and smart voter” after I read your report of everything you did to pursue this magic pen baloney.

You tried to challenge the election judges at your polling place. Many voters know that they are supposed to do what they are told when the election judges issue a ruling. In a hurry to get to work or wherever, they buckle under and move along in the face of authority. After all, the polling place officials are “election judges” right? They have the power to call the police and have you arrested if you cause a disturbance. I’m not surprised that you acquiesced to their bizarre explanations.

Instead of stupid, it’s clear that you acted with keen instinct, You quickly planned to continue to object to what you were told to do. You traded phone numbers with a fellow voter so you could compare notes and keep in touch. You went out of your way to pursue the matter directly with the ward committeeman. It’s appalling that, as you wrote, “the committeeman and another guy working in that office both said when I asked about the invisible ink thing, "Yeah, that's how they're doing it this year."

You went further. You called the news media and the board of elections officials to inquire and complain. HOW MANY VOTERS WOULD DO ALL THAT?

Instead of casting aspersions, courage and determination are words that are apropos to you. I think “apology” is another word that must be invoked as well. For all your trouble and effort someone owes you and the other voters who were misguided at least that.

Peace, Michael J. Harrington

Micahel Harrington @ 02/06/2008 07:13 PM CST

You're not only are you one of the dumbest voters in the nation yesterday, you're a slanderous bitch.

I've never met you in my fucking life. How would you know what my drinking habits are?

Do you have any actual proof whatsoever I'm a drunk? Otherwise you should retract that comment.

Craig Gernhardt @ 02/06/2008 08:37 PM CST

Hey, I'll stop calling you drunk when you stop calling me stupid. How about that?

Actually, I changed "drunk" to "jagoff." Is that better?

Amy C @ 02/07/2008 05:41 AM CST

wow. I can't believe the bile and loathing being slung at you. It's ridiculous. I second what has been said - a lot of people wouldn't have bothered to follow up, they would have chalked it up to Chicago's corrupt system and carried on with their day. Go you for fighting back, and fuck everyone for thinking you're a moron. You're not. And thank you for fighting back. More people need to.

bibliogrrl @ 02/07/2008 07:48 AM CST

Craig is a drunk, but he's a drunk because he has severe mental problems that are far worse than alcoholism, which he self-medicates with alcohol. Obviously, the benefits of his self-care plan are limited at best.

Keep your chin up. You're absolutely right, both in that you were reasonable in accepting the instructions of an election judge, and also in thinking that the criticisms say more about the prejudices of the writers than about you.

Thomas Westgard @ 02/07/2008 08:51 AM CST

Now, Tom, we mustn't speculate about Craig's afflictions. No need to sink to his level.

Amy C @ 02/07/2008 09:17 AM CST

I posted on this story today. Click my name if you want to read it.

Thomas Westgard @ 02/07/2008 09:17 AM CST

Craig's a tool.

Mike @ 02/07/2008 09:36 AM CST

Amy, Craig is more of a wake and bake pothead (with strange delusions) than a drunk.

I hate reading all the crap people are writing about you. Clearly you called bullshit on the judges and went though the proper channels so you could cast a real ballot.

vote on!

shechemist @ 02/07/2008 11:02 AM CST

"Jagoff" is indeed classic Chicago--I once saw a worker from Streets and San yell it at a driver he didn't like--and a fitting choice in this situation.

ChgoRed @ 02/07/2008 11:06 AM CST

Dear Amy,
I feel for you and the invisible ink incident. I told Craig that he should not have picked on you, but instead have gone after the idiots who told you it was invisible ink. I have known Craig for 28 years. He is definitely not a drunk, but sometimes he should rethink his comments before he posts them.
Karen in Chicago

Karen @ 02/07/2008 11:59 AM CST

I've seen him drunk, Amy. He's an incredible asshole, his Web site is atrocious, and I took pleasure in your telling him to fuck off. Stand your ground, as you did on Tuesday, neighbor.

Kate @ 02/07/2008 02:04 PM CST

Just chiming in to say, don't give Craig a second thought. I don't know him personally, nor do I have any particular feelings against him whatsoever, but this is the second time I've seen him go after someone seemingly at random. So, you know, it's not you, it's him, etc etc.

I'm glad you stood up for yourself and made noise about this instead of just shrugging and moving on.

Kelly @ 02/07/2008 06:50 PM CST

Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry this happened. It's Friday and I'm just now reading this and I can not believe it. Hang in there and try to have a good weekend.

amy_b @ 02/08/2008 06:56 PM CST

i know both you and craig, neither very well, but if it came down to it, I'd rally up alongside you Amy C.

eighmie @ 02/08/2008 09:37 PM CST

I'm glad that you challenged this bogus situation. Hang in there and keep on standing up to wrong-headed bureaucracy.

Anne Alt @ 02/10/2008 09:00 PM CST

oh, amy - i have to second what your 49th ward neighbor said, and tell you that of course you're not stupid. and i'm sorry people are being such jerks! big hugs coming your way...

Jenni @ 02/11/2008 10:17 AM CST

Amy, I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. I don't know Craig personally (thank God), but I do know Tom Mannis quite well. They deserve each other, that's all I can say. God bless you.

Vincent @ 02/12/2008 11:07 AM CST

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