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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Souls need to vote!

All Souls Day got off to a busy, albeit complicated start as the new-fangled voting system unfortunately worked. Instead of ye olde voting booth with levers to pull, this new process entails getting a paper ballot, going to the semi-private station and manually filling in the circle next to the candidate's name, then inserting it in a "privacy" sleeve, then going to a machine and scanning it.

That's the theory, any way. Even with my trifocals I had trouble reading the ballot, let alone filling in the circle (it's been decades since I took SATs). Two Maryknollers ahead of me had their ballots rejected by the scanner when they apparently colored outside the lines. Their ballots had to be voided and they started all over again, with a poll watcher offering to help. (Who watched the poll watcher?)

One Maryknoller signed in and, after perusing the ballot, returned it, saying he wasn't going to vote. There was only one privacy sleeve, but I figure if people don't know how I voted, they don't know me very well.

But the most curious aspect of election day here at the Knoll is that someone, an outsider or insider, papered the cars in the parking lot with Pro-Life voters guides and sample ballots, complete with write-in suggestions. What made this odd, if not altogether mindless, is that the so-called Pro-Life and Republican candidate for governor, Carl Paladino, is endorsed even though his boorish actions, such as forwarding obscene emails to subordinates, make him unfit for public office. If you think I am being harsh or partisan, consider that some of his emails contained pornographic images of bestiality, under which he wrote "awesome." By joining forces with him, the Tea Party and Pro-Life Party only diminish each other, or inadvertently confirm the suspicion that Pro-Lifers only care what happens before a baby is born.

Meanwhile back at the Knoll, only 34 people attended the Mass for All Saints yesterday, of which 28 were Society members (of the 85 residents currently living here). In other words, Solemnity or not, no more attended than at a normal weekday Mass. IMHO there will be no refounding or renewal or reformation of Maryknoll unless it is preceded by a revival of our personal and communal prayer life, but as of this posting, there are no signs of that happening any time soon.

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