Several weeks ago, I wrote an article about the practice of our state legislature using so called ‘ ghost’ employees. These, as you may remember, were employees who were carried on the states payroll as full time but actually performed little or no work at all. By having them classified as full time, they were able to receive medical insurance as well as retirement credits.

Well, now we have a new twist coming along to contend with..ghost voting.

That’s right, ghost voting. Now that doesn’t mean that we have ghosts voting in the legislature of this state, it means that absent members get other members to vote for them. In other words, if I’ m out in the lobby or down the hall in the cafeteria when a vote comes up, just reach over and press my button for me’ thanks I’ll do the same for you next time you want to be gone.

It seems some enterprising news reporter videoed this taking place and posted the site on You-Tube where it has been seen over a million times. I’d bet that reporter isn’t allowed back in the chambers at any time in the near future. After the video came out several of the lawmakers were interviewed and said that ‘ obviously the public didn’t understand how the legislators actually worked.’

You’ re correct, we don’t. We thought when you got elected to office, you sat in either the house or senate and actually listened to what was going on and then made a decision as to which way you wanted to vote. Obviously we were wrong, it doesn’t work like that.

Dumb old us.

An option was proposed to have fingerprint recording devices in several of the common areas so that the lawmakers could be in the lounge or restrooms and still be able to vote. One female lawmaker says even that would be onerous since she wears pantyhose and petticoats and having to vote from a bathroom stall would be inconvenient. Another lawmaker lamented that giving extra time to vote might reduce the legislative workload by as much as one fourth.

Now, we’ re talking. I’ m for that..

Of course, once a new solution such as the fingerprint reader gets mentioned, all kinds of objections get thrown up in rebuttal. One was from a member who was concerned if the fingerprint reader would work if they cut their finger. They made the comment that they might cut their finger while cutting onions and that might prevent them from making an important vote. This is probably from one of the legislative members who haven’t cooked anything since TV dinners came out.

I suppose that isn’t fair since they might be able to cut their finger on the cardboard box trying to get it open.

Another house member said she was reluctant to use her fingerprint on anything in the house. She says she doesn’t trust technology. There’s a progressive thinker for you, makes you wonder if they have electricity and indoor plumbing out in her district. Probably not, let’s keep ‘ em down on the farm.

Of course the problem for me is that I think the votes should be actually entered by the person making the vote, not someone else. But then, that’s me. Call me crazy, but I think most folks think the same way I do.

Here again we have another example of the classic’do as I say, not as I do’syndrome that seems to be prevalent with our esteemed elected officials. When we, the lowly citizenry, of this country have to go and sign up for our driver’s license, we have to have our fingerprints entered into a system. It has never occurred to me to ask if the system is safe or not, I just go along with the rest of the herd and do what is being asked. Obviously members of the legislature don’t feel the same. They aren’t willing to sit at their desks and be present when votes are taken, and don’t trust any type of technology which could verify their actual presence when a vote was taken. Since votes aren’t recorded by name in this state, are the legislators ashamed to defend their voting records’

Might be something there.

My wife said I was becoming too cynical with my articles. I think she’s correct, but there is so much to be cynical about and so little time. To me your votes should be like a sword’ use it wisely and where it will do the most good.