Election Day

Here's what I thought today when I went to vote this morning at 6:45 a.m.

1.  Wow, look at the line, I hope I'm done by 10:30.  (Sadly, I had a funeral to attend.)

2.  It's great to be standing in line with my daughter/teacher.  I don't think we've ever gone to vote together.

3.  This lady in front of us is so friendly.  We're hearing all about her son, the high school band member who plays the tuba.  His name is Caden.

4.  It's kind of chilly here in Florida, but I'm so grateful for beautiful weather, because we might be standing outside awhile.

5.  I hope the polls are open in NY and NJ.  It would be awful if, due to Sandy, people there were unable to vote.

6.  A lady who looks like a member of the Kardashian family just joined the line.

7.  The line is moving.  It's 7:10.

8.  Caden's mom remarks that if everyone would just fill out their sample ballot and bring it with them to vote, the process would go so much faster.  My daughter and I agree, because we brought our sample ballots too.   We're all feeling very pleased with ourselves. 

9.  The line is growing.  Sister Immaculata comes out of her office with two plastic lawn chairs for people who need to sit down.  It strikes me as amusingly odd that, for all the contention about God in the public square, our voting station is a church.  I love this.

10.  The movie The Secret Life of Bees comes to mind and how the character Rosaleen is beaten for walking into town to vote.  I think about this for awhile.  All the people who don't vote...all the people who think it doesn't make any difference...all the people who just don't care.   How did that happen?

11.  A couple guys in suits and ties join the line.  One has a coffee cup from Starbucks; one has a cup from 7-11.   

12.   We've moved up in the line enough to read the placards on easels that talk about voter fraud.  There is a map that outlines our voting district.  A quarter of an inch to the left, and we'd be in another precinct.

13.  A guy in a brown FedEx uniform gets in line.

14.  Caden's Mom tells us she doesn't care if she's late to work, she's going to vote, no matter how long it takes.   This makes my heart smile. 

15.  I notice a few walkers and canes in the line.  I love this. 

16.   A lady a few spots ahead of us calls to my daughter that they used to work together at the health food store.  My daughter says, yes, I remember, and they chat for a minute.

17.  We're just inside the building.  There are probably two dozen rickety, aluminum voting cubbies set up.  I pull out my driver's license.  The C-D sign-in line is the longest.  The U-Z sign-in station doesn't even have an attendant.  I'm assuming the S-T person slides over when necessary.

18.  Here we go - my daughter signs in, I sign in, and we disperse into open cubbies.  I fill out my ballot in three minutes.  Love that pre-completed ballot!

19.  I feed the four-page ballot into the machine that sucks the thing in to be counted later and receive my "I Voted" sticker.   It's now 7:45 am. 

20.  As I walk to my car, I'm happy to see the line is still long and growing.  Even if we don't completely like anybody who's running for anything, it's important to make the best informed choice and cast a ballot.  I'm so grateful I live in a country where this is a privilege.   When I was 20, I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now.

21.  I hope Florida does not hold up the results this year, like it did in 2000.  If there's a problem, I hope it's in another state.  Like North Dakota.  We never hear anything about North Dakota.  It needs some press coverage.

22.  I pray, regardless of who wins, both sides are willing to compromise a bit to get things done. 

23.  As contentious as America politics can be, I do not want to live in any other country.  Freedom is messy sometimes.

24.  To the Starbucks suit, the 7-11 suit, Caden's mom, the FedEx guy, the Kardashian chick, the health store colleague, the senior citizens, and especially Rosaleen - thanks for showing up.

Did you vote today?


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

HA, you made me laugh out loud when you said if there were any problems this time, you hoped they were in North Dakota. Great post. We actually voted last week, and I'm glad we did. We waited over an hour then, but the weather was beautiful. Today, it's chilly and drizzly, not the kind of weather conducive to standing around for long. Here, the folks with walkers, crutches, oxygen tanks, that sort of thing, get to go directly to the front of the line. One thing I noticed is that the mood among the folks waiting to vote wasn't nearly as festive as it was four years ago. Let's hope we're all feeling festive when the votes are counted, huh? One way or another, at least the ads and robo-calls will be coming to an end.

Unknown said...

I live in a swing state so i expect some drama here.

Heading out to the fire house (our polling station at 2:30 don't expect the lines will be more than a few people long, just regular folks like in your town. No Kardashian chick types in our small berg though, someone would throw a blanket over her (after she voted of course!)

Ruth said...

I voted this morning. My little town is too small for lines by alphabet. It was the first time that we had to show an ID to get the ballot. It was odd. One line to fill out name and address even if you were registered and then get in another line to swipe your ID. So, that took longer than normal but it was still only about 15 minutes.

Jenny said...

It's a beautiful day here in the swing state of Colorado, so I walked to my polling place to drop off my mail-in ballot. On the way home, I was so grateful that I live in a country where I don't have to risk life and limb to cast my vote!

Gerri said...

Great post! Love, love, loved it!

Juli said...

I did! But my ballot was one page, two sided. It took about 35 seconds to fill out.

My visit to the school's bake sale took far longer! Seriously, hours in line? Say what you want about MA, but we have this thing down... from parking to voting, and out to the main street again (minus the goodies purchased from the bake sale) less than 15 minutes.

For the record... I was one of those in Broward county in 2000. But I was not an idiot, and made my chads hang accordingly. :)

Tamera Brose said...

My husband voted before he went to work. He was #28. I voted when he got home. I was #415. I was pleased to see a line when I got there and there were people coming to vote when I left. I didn't get a sticker, but I know I voted. I would take lines over no one showing up any time.

Michael Ann said...

Loved this post, it was really fun to read. It made me feel good. My town is too small for alphabet lines too and I had to wait all of 2 min. to sign in and go vote. Didn't have to show my ID. I agree, it is a great privilege to live here in America!

Kenya G. Johnson said...

I loved your people watching post. It's a part of history. I haven't had the television on since 3:15 this morning, so I don't know what the temperature is here or the Florida results ;-)

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I also get annoyed with women who think voting is a waste of time as it took a lot of strong, brave women to fight for us to have the right to vote........we are lucky to live in countries that voting is allowed and can be done safely

Marianne said...

I loved the play-by-play, and now I'm disappointed that I was in and out within 4 minutes. Think of all that I missed.

And I'm with you on North Dakota. It's about time they took some heat.

Funny in My Mind said...

I did vote. I went after work with my husband and there was no line and we didn't show id because they knew us.
I bet you it WAS a Kardashian!!

Emmy said...

Awesome post!! And good thin you went in the morning sounds like the lines were awful in Florida at night.

Chatty Crone said...

I did vote - sorry I am so late getting here. sandie

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom said...

I loved that the nun brought out chairs and you thought what I thought about voting in a church: When is somebody gonna get all offended about that for no good reason anyway?

I vote in a church and I love it because that means the schools are in session (unlike the town next door where the schools are the polling place so they kicked the kids out for the day!)

renae said...

hi! I commented back to you via email. thank you.

momto8 said...

yes..I have never missed a vote. and it is so close to my house, it is like all home days....don't need a photo ID, everyone knows everyone!