Yard Signs Don’t Vote
With one week remaining until Election Day, I find myself grinding my teeth (just ask Dr. Ossello on Monroe & 14th) in annoyance. Friends become enemies, enemies remain enemies and yard signs decorate Spokane as far as the eye can see. When running errands one afternoon on the Upper South Hill Loop, I couldn’t help but notice every. single. political. yard. sign. lining up with pride on the main drags.
As I turned down 57th heading toward High Drive, I could hear a nagging voice from my campaign days, “Yard signs don’t vote.” Other than the fact I can’t wait for November 3rd to knock on my door, I really had nothing but pure curiosity about the sheer numbers of yard signs in the 6th Legislative District. The scientist in me wondered a simple question, “What if yard signs voted?” If every sign no matter their size (except in the case of the airline industry where morbidly obese people count as two people), counted as one vote, who would win this election? 8.7 miles later on foot, Erika Prins and I found out.
On Wednesday, October 20th at 4:00 p.m., Erika and I put on our walking shoes. We began our march at Comstock Park. The first sign in eye sight was that of Charlie Wiggins. We passed a group of canvassers of local canvassers for the Democratic Party (This was determined by their blue C-SPAN bags. Republican groups have red bags.) We wished them luck pursuit of contacts. Contacts? Where we’re going, we don’t need contacts.
Check Point #1:
The first political dead zone from Perry St. to Southeast Boulevard on 29th. It was a signless territory ripe for the taking. The depression ceased upon sign of the first checkpoint: Southeast Boulevard and S. Regal. We survived the onslaught of Blue Death on Southeast Boulevard. For the first time in history, clip boards were used as a weapon. Radio silence was practiced out of fear of inhaling disgusting, foul blue gnats.
Stats: 1. John Driscoll, 2. Chris Marr, 3. John Ahern
Check Point #2: We were losing daylight fast on S. Regal. Without looking at a clock I could tell you it was close to 6:00 p.m. KREM had a live truck in the parking lot of Albertsons. The sun was setting. It was a beautiful fall evening in Spokane tinged with darkness (not literally). Intentional destruction was clear in one particular candidate’s signs. We can only imagine who it was. If this wasn’t proof enough, we were now in the heart of the war zone. Onward march.
Stats: 1. John Driscoll, 2. Chris Marr 3. John Ahern & Michael Baumgartner (tied)
Check Point #3:
Somewhere during this time, our levels of sanity was being questioned. Singing was the only solace we could find. Bonnie Mager provided much inspiration for this. By Hatch & 57th, it was officially dark. Our chances of being eaten by a Grue increased. We walked single file down the streets. Morale was declining quickly. We entered the second political dead zone next to the Manito Golf Course. Not a sign in sight. A word was hardly spoken between the two investigators. Silence was broken by Erika. She was the first to say, “Ow!” I, admittedly, began to whine soon after. The lights of Rocket Market lit the skies up ahead and a much-needed rest was delivered.
Stats: 1. John Driscoll, 2. Michael Baumgartner, 3. Chris Marr
Check Point #4:
Our personal relationship rested on a unthreading tight rope at 37th & High Drive. It was dark and High Drive was not the hot spot of political unrest like we thought it was going to be. We were surrounded by darkness and our pace decreased (by our pace, I really mean my pace). For those that have been around horses long enough, you’ll share my understanding of this observation. Once they know the barn is just around the corner, they launch into an unsteady gallop. We were like a bunch of horses when we got to 29th. Our loop was almost completed. We caught sight of one more Charlie Wiggins sign, as well as TWO Patty Murray signs. That residence was a visual representation of the Democratic ticket. After four hours of walking, we made it back to Comstock Park and took a final tally of yard signs on the Upper South Hill Loop. You may find the following disturbing:
Erika compiled statistics found during our investigation:
My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean is a traditional Scottish folk song that we dedicated to Bonnie Mager as her Official Theme Song to be performed with… gusto!
With a week until the election, it would be interesting to see the final count of signs though out this loop. I’m sure the numbers would be vastly different. I plan to walk this again, except starting two hours earlier. Anybody interested?