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Posted 10/17/12 (Wed)

  Well, last week I delved a little into politics. I told you about my bike ride when I was campaigning. Now since we are into politics, I think I’ll touch lightly on one more political deal. Now hold on! I’m not going to endorse Obama or Romney. I am going to endorse Shirley, because she is reading over my shoulder. I’m going to touch on a measure I found amusing.
Measure one on the North Dakota upcoming ballot, changes an old constitutional paragraph that I guess needs changing. It allowed the guy running the polls to impose a $1.50 poll tax on voters. I suppose it was to pay for the coal to heat the polling place, to fix up the hitching rail so you could tie up your team, to pay the poll workers a bit for spending the day, and so forth.
Here’s the catch; you didn’t have to charge “paupers, idiots, insane persons, and Indians!”
Now picture if you will, that poor old poll worker having to sit there and sort these people out! I don’t imagine a lot of people would claim to be insane, but I do know some. I can picture people claiming to be paupers, and beings so many are involved in agriculture or oil, you could be rich today and a pauper tomorrow. Idiots are harder to depict, but I have many friends that I probably would not charge if I were the poll worker. And I am sure they would do the same for me. That’s how close we are.
Now paupers, I imagine you could pick out. They would be unshaven, wear unkept clothes, have straggly hair, and holes in their shoes. But of course, that could be a rancher calving heifers.
Idiots, well it appears to me that most in Congress would be exempt from the tax.
Insane persons would be a little tricky. The first people that figured the earth was round were considered idiots. As were the first people that imported Hereford cattle to replace the longhorns. And the people that bet on Twins this year would be untaxable. And the list could go on and on.
All of this political talk reminds me of a story that Grandpa Jack used to tell. To enjoy it, read it in an Irish brogue.
Rasmus Jensen was a poll worker in Dunn County. Since a lot of the recent immigrants were of German or Norwegian descent and hadn’t learned to read English yet, poll workers were assigned to assist in the voting.
Well, Rasmus was helping this one fellow vote. Bill Connolly was on the ballot for County Commissioner. When Rasmus asked this fellow whom he wanted to vote for as commissioner, he replied, “Anybody but that s.o.b. Bill Connolly!”
 Well, Bill was a friend of Rasmus’s. So Rasmus just proclaimed (this is where you need the accent), “Vell, ve’ll just x him out then!”