Well, here you are at the polls, exercising your hard-earned right to self-governance. Your ancestors fought and died and held conferences at places near waterfalls so that you could come here on this Tuesday and spend hours standing in line to do your civic duty! Here, you will make your voice heard as to who will govern the country next!

Unless you don’t live in a swing state. (Sorry.)

To illustrate this point, here is a map:

from which this map was adapted (Apologies to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/president/?hpid=z2 )

Are you in an orange state? Congratulations, soon it will be safe to turn the television on again, without dozens of ads leaping out at you, “The Ring”-style, and dragging you down a deep well.

Are you in a red or blue state? You thought you were lucky to miss out on the ads, but don’t go running to your new president demanding targeted funds or encouragement for your coal miners any time soon.

Regardless, here you are, with a lot of disgruntled people who are sick of waiting in line and for whom voting is likely to be a largely decorative exercise.

And you are about to be confronted with the ballot.

This is always the worst part of voting. No matter how informed you thought you were, there is always a curve ball. It’s like standard testing day all over again, down to the standard-issue pencils and the disgruntled old ladies in hairnets sitting at the front of the room at long tables monitoring you.


In other words, good luck!