Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Don't Vote Here

At lunch I knew I was in trouble. The computers had crashed so I took AP to lunch, anticipating a bite of pizza but when the waiter mentioned the tilapia special I opted for that. Big mistake which I have been paying for most of the afternoon. It really hit me on the bus home but got back to the car and headed off to vote. They had 11 machines available in the school gym but because only one lady was checking IDs only two or three were being utilized at one time. She seemed to take a bit longer with my card, (C would say it is the beard that causes these untrusting glances) and seemed reluctant to send me on to the next booth, where, after standing in line for 40 minutes I was told was exactly not where I was supposed to be. Evidently the county had created a new voting spot, a church that was all of two miles down the road. It was 6:22 and I had to park about a half mile away along the side of the two lane road. The man in front of me was beaming that this was his first chance to vote, two of his kids were electing to ignore his instructions/pleas to not continuously dash across the parking lot and his wife tried several times, unsuccessfully, to corral them with a motherly glare that was laughable compared to my Mom. The results were certainly less successful than my Mom's. Once inside, after filling out a second card, I ended up behind a lady who was suffering from a very severe case of hiccups. I considered trying to frighten her by telling her that come November one of these candidates was going to end up being elected President (not one of them specifically just the fact that these were the ones we have to choose from), but I passed on that. (any joke you have to explain is not a good one. See preceding sentence for perfect example.) The clock tower chimed seven times as I exited the polls, having handed my card to elderly gentlemen who seemed puzzled at what the yellow cards were for. Every other election I've voted in they had a box with a slit where the ballot or card goes, this time it was a Tupperware bowl (I don't know how to create the TM symbol so hopefully no legal issue there) guarded by a dozing man who may or may not have been an election official at the Lincoln v Douglas debates.

I hiked back down the road in the dark to my car and finally made my way home. Will my single vote make the difference in my state election? No. Will Grandpa know what to do with the yellow whatchamcallits; I hope so. I have become a bit of a cynic on a lot of things the last few years but voting is still one of the most wonderful experiences in life. Hope you voted... but only once.

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