Put-in-Bay Elections Get Me to the Poll on Time!

By Gordy Barr

Dateline: Monday, November 5th, 2018 I was excited. Tomorrow was Put-in-Bay Election Day. I was going to travel from Middle Bass to Put-in-Bay to exercise my right to vote. I love being a citizen of the United States of America! I love doing my civic duty! Like the high-pitched whine of a mosquito in a dark bedroom, talk of a big November blow was cycling through Middle Bass island’s gossip chain. The Put-in-Bay Ferry boats were going to be canceled. Airplanes would fall from the sky. Election day was tomorrow and the Voter Weather Suppression
Satellites controlled by (choose one) Democrats/ Republicans were going to keep many from voting.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, parked itself in a gale. The Put-in-Bay Ferry had to shut down (as the, choose one: Republican/ Democrat operatives, had told it to). There were few Put-in-Bay Transportation Options. My backup plan was flying off with Griffing Flying Service from Middle Bass to Put-in-Bay, then catch a later plane back to the mainland so I could get to work in Cleveland). But, flying had become dicey.

I kept in touch with Rhonda Trocko at Griffing. There was going to be a lot of choppy air and they were waiting things out. She did point out that the wind direction was favorable (southwest) and that the operator of the Voter Weather Suppression Satellites controlled by the (choose one) Democrat/Republicans might go on coffee break. If there was an opportunity they could act. At 9:45 a.m., Rhonda called. The (choose one) Republican/ Democrat Voter Weather Suppression Satellite operator must have gone to Steak and Shake for a hamburger. We
had a window of (voter) opportunity! The plane landed at Middle Bass. Griffing pilot Kara Clifford grinned from the cockpit of Griffing’s Britten / Norman BN2A Islander (the big bird). “I am here to shuttle you to the polls!” “My heroine!” I shouted. “But we have to stop at North Bass first to pick up a worker…”

My worry brain emerged from my primary brain (I am the man with two brains!). What if we were trapped on North Bass? What if the
Voter Weather Suppression Satellite operator (choose one: Democrat or Republican) had finished his curly fries and was re-arming the satellites? I would be trapped on North Bass. Although some might view this as a great opportunity she powered up the Islander and we were airborne and on our way to Put-in-Bay! There were some halfhearted attempts by the Voter Weather Satellite Suppression people (choose one: Republican/ Democrat) to knock us out of the sky, but the six-minute flight from North Bass to South Bass proved disappointingly
uneventful. Kara said she would be back in an hour or two to fly me to the mainland (Voter Suppression Satellites, willing). Ponytail bobbing, she slipped back into the cockpit of “Big Bird” and taxied away. My usual Put-in-Bay chums, Jeff Koehler, Russ and Lisa Brohl and Christie Ontko were off-island and had voted earlier in the election day. Jessie Greene volunteered to drive me to the Senior Center, but it would cost me lunch at Tippers. The issues around the Lake Erie Islands are important to me. That is why I choose to vote there on election day (versus Cleveland).

I want to support local officials that are in tune with Middle Bass and the islands. I support levies that make our islands
a better place. I also love the ritual of voting in person. I like the institutional smell of the voting booth’s curtains. I like seeing the white ballot form with important black printing on it. I like marking the circles with my pen and making sure to fill in the entire circle. My choice matters. My vote would not be wasted. The people working the poll that day, Chan Stevens, Susan Byrnes, Paula Huber, Carol Pennington and Woody Widmar, would make sure that my vote was properly entered, accounted for and registered. These are people that can be trusted. Their competence would never be questioned.

The contrast to Put-in-Bay’s clean efficient poll operation on election day would be Broward County Florida Elections Board. Confusion reigned. Mysterious ballots were found. Mysterious ballots disappeared. No one knew how many ballots there were… A dangling chad is not a type of men’s underwear. At fault were the (choose one) Democrats/ Republicans. Out of ten million potential voters for the US Senators race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson the race was decided by a razor-thin margin of 10,000 votes. Indeed, in that election, every vote counted. The Broward County Election Board needs Chan Stevens, Susan Byrnes, Paula Huber, Carol Pennington, and Woody Widmar. But I doubt any of them would want to live in South Florida…

Notes on the Story:

1) I was supposed to have lunch with Put-in-Bay Gazette editor Jeff Koehler on Election Day (I wanted to vote as well as discuss removing the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s restrictive columnist salary cap), but he had a doctor’s appointment on the mainland. As it turned out, he canceled his doctor’s appointment due to the active Voter Weather Suppression Satellites operated by the (choose one) Democratic/ Republican party.
Per Jeff, “We talked about this two weeks ago. I completely forgot you were coming over!” Jeff, no one likes to be forgotten. I have seen the 1987 thriller classic movie Fatal Attraction (featuring a bunch of, choose one, Democrats/ Republicans behaving badly). I will not be ignored.

2) Any time there is a Voter Weather Suppression Satellite crisis and I have to Island hop to get to the polls I always stop at Tippers for a fried Bologna sandwich (like the last 4 elections it seems). Sandy Funtal always waits on me. Sandy sadly informed me the fried Bologna sandwich was no longer on the menu, although it was sometimes offered as a special (like those Lee Iacocca Chrysler K cars that sometimes pop up on eBay). I hate to change traditions, but I ordered a new sandwich called the Sloppy Pig (pork belly, kielbasa, pulled pork, Coleslaw, house barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese on a golden brown bun). It was delicious. I guess sometimes change isn’t bad.

3) The (choose one) Republicans/ Democrats have long controlled the weather to suppress their opponent’s voters. You would think they would use this power to help America’s farmers. “We have scheduled a Tornado for next Friday. Better put those cows in the barn and get those crops harvested by Wednesday!”