It's August 21, 1858, in Ottawa, Ill. You had planned on eating your lunch, which consists of whatever they ate in 1858, plus a box of Twinkies, but instead you are attacked by the flock of people heading to the public square. The sun is shining brightly so brightly, you decide it must be 1:55 p.m. You notice two people on stage, both men in their 40s. One of those guys looks just like Abraham Lincoln.
Wait a minute, it is Abraham Lincoln!
The Lincoln-Douglas debates begin, and you hurriedly grab a schedule for the rest of these debates. You write the dates in your PalmPilot and wonder why people are looking at you so funny. You also wonder why there isn't an e-mail address listed for Lincoln, or Stephen Douglas, or the U.S. Mint, because the pennies you received in change at the bank did not appear to be real.
Oh, I get it. These people have never seen someone wearing plaid shorts with a Britney Spears T-shirt. No, even more importantly, they have never seen technological advances like an Easybake Oven or a computer. They are still in awe of the steamboat!
Today, we can follow elections even if we aren't there, we can vote for things all over the country, and most importantly, we don't have to wash our clothes in the nearest brook. With the presidential election just weeks away, there is already plenty of Web coverage.
If you are unsure about who should be president, or if you want to find out just who is running, visit Issues 2000 . There's even a section with the political stances on the Internet use (not included was Lincoln's stance: "Internet? Is that a railroad trestle?").
The Democratic and Republican conventions were covered in their entirety on the Internet. This was the first year this was done, so of course there were a few problems . Look for this type of realtime coverage to become the standard in future elections.
Your best bet for up-to-the-minute coverage this year is at the Yahoo News site. There are news stories, links to other news sources and a miscellaneous area, which includes a link to the game "Who Wants to be a President?" (requires the Shockwave plugin).
Sure, there are some people who would give their left arm to be ambidextrous, plus they want the person they vote for to win. But some people just like the thrill of voting. At vote.com, you can cast a variety of votes, most of them revolving around the upcoming election. As advertised, vote.com will send your vote where it counts. As long as they don't send it to me, I'll be satisfied.
If you're not into politics, or you can't find the proper questions tailored for your party, the "Give Stephen Douglas a Second Chance" party, then vote on other topics like sports, entertainment, the environment, etc. Don't forget, your vote always goes where it counts.
Voting is the American way, simplified by technology. I suppose you could try stuffing the ballot if there's something you feel strong about, like drinking fountains, but I would recommend just casting your vote once. That way, each individual will be able to take an equal stand. If you are still feeling patriotic, here's your chance to recite the National Anthem. You should put your right hand over your heart, even if it does cover Britney's face.