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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Election fever

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jared Jernagan
When I was a college student, I quickly figured out that I wanted to be an English major. What was not to like about spending four years reading novels and poems, writing about them and actually getting a degree out of it?

The answer: there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, as long as you know you'll never be rich.

Choosing a minor was a bit more tricky. Even as someone in his late teens, I understood that if I ever wanted a job in the real world, I should probably not be an English major/philosophy minor, or some other such combination.

Given my aversion to science and high-level math, I looked to the social sciences for something more marketable. Psychology didn't interest me, and economics is really just more math, so I chose political science.

Besides seeming a good minor when I was thinking about becoming a lawyer (A lawyer? Me? It was an ill-conceived plan), I was also caught up in the 2000 election. It's not that I was particularly enamored of either Al Gore or George W. Bush; the entire process intrigued me.

I had election fever.

I remember staying up into the early morning hours of Nov. 8, watching Tim Russert and his dry erase board. I remember Gore being unofficially declared the winner when he supposedly clinched Florida. I then remember being dumbfounded later as it came off the board.

I don't really have an opinion on what happened in Florida in the weeks that followed, I can only say that I remained riveted.

And riveted I've remained through two midterm and two general elections since. From the city and county level on up, I've enjoyed every bit of it -- except for some of the results.

It's different in 2010, though. I don't know if having a baby makes me less interested or I'm just a more trivial person than I used to be, but I'm completely over it.

You could say I have election fever again this year. The difference is, this year it's more of a "take some aspirin and a cold bath and hope it goes away soon" kind of fever.

I'm especially tired of the phone pollsters.

Are you registered to vote?

Will you be voting on Nov. 2?

What is your opinion of Candidate X?

Can we count on your vote for Candidate Y?

I'd like to ask my own set of questions:

How did you get my mobile phone number?

Will you please stop calling me?

Do you actually enjoy bothering people?

I'm especially troubled with questions about local races, given my position.

The truth is, if someone currently holds, has held or is seeking a Greencastle or Putnam County office, I probably know them -- either personally or on reputation. I refuse to comment on who I'm voting for.

Taking a side would be unprofessional and downright uncomfortable.

Instead, when I enter the booth on Election Day, the choices I make will be my business and no one else's.

I can't wait for Nov. 3. Of course, at that point I'm sure they'll be pondering who the frontrunners are for the White House in 2012.

Jared Jernagan is the assistant editor of the Banner Graphic. He can be reached at jjernagan@bannergraphic.com