Voting: Truth, Happiness, and the American Sticker

Well, I did my civic duty today and voted. I’m very proud of myself for voting early too. I’d like to claim it was because I’m a patriotic American who still believes in safeguarding the rights to our democracy, but mostly it was because I was bored at work and looking for an excuse to escape the building for a few minutes. I wasn’t 100% sure that they’d let me vote downtown at the courthouse since technically my district is supposed to vote at the elementary school instead, but I took the chance and headed to the courthouse anyway. I figure that while the basement of the courthouse smells like musty old person and newspaper, it was still better than the school, which lingers of Elmer’s glue, fish sticks and sweaty child. (These are important things to consider when deciding to vote…who knows how long the line will be?)

Anyway, I walked down to the courthouse. I always get a kick out of the 600 million candidate signs all jammed together right up until you get to the “No campaign signs beyond this point” sign. Do they think that I managed to wander down here without knowing who was running? Or that I had been undecided up until the point that I saw that last “Vote for me!” sign stuck in the ground? Or maybe that I’d base my vote on who had the most signs? (Actually, I think I’d go the opposite direction. If you think buying 50 campaign signs to cover approximately 1 square foot of land is a good use of money, then I don’t want you near my tax dollars).

Once I was inside, it was fairly easy to figure out where to go to vote. The election commission has apparently raided several senior citizens homes to work as voter helpers, so I just followed the smell of arthritis cream. (I’m not sure why they choose such “mature” volunteers. My guess is this is because they have the most experience with voting, seeing how they were around for the very first election also).

Surprisingly, there’s not much of a line at 10:30 on a Friday for early voting, so the masses of little blue haired ladies were very excited to see me. This is both good and bad because while they were very friendly, none of them could read the small print on my driver’s license to verify my address. They get around this by passing the license from person to person down a long table. Everybody squints at it and passes it on. The theory is that between them all, they’ve managed to read enough of it to verify that I am who I say I am.

The voting itself wasn’t that exciting. I stood in my little booth and cast my vote on a machine that looked like it would have been very high-tech in 1945. Like maybe one of those old-fashioned arcade games and an adding machine had a love child. It took me a second to adjust to the idea of using a toggle switch instead of a touch screen, but you do what you can.

The whole thing took about two minutes, which was unfortunate because I had really wanted to stretch this out until at least lunch. I was also looking forward to getting my “I voted” sticker, but the blue hairs informed me that they didn’t have any yet. I guess they wait until closer to actual Election Day to do that. (I’m sure this is just a conspiracy to keep all the stickers to themselves. I was all set to demand my sticker, but I figured that it would have ended in a brawl, and all that Aspercream makes them too slippery hang on to, so I let it go).

All in all however, I had a good time and encourage each of you to go out and do your civic duty by voting also. It helps your country, your local government, and the little blue haired ladies who would otherwise have nothing to do. Except hoard “I voted” stickers, of course.


Melanie said...

They must be keeping the stickers because we seem to have plenty of them around here.

cndymkr / jean said...

I've never gotten a sticker! Now I feel like I'm missing something. But those blue haired people are always looking for ways to mess with people!

nancy said...

i work the polls on election day and as the person accepting ballots, tearing off the stub for the voter, i all but attach the i voted sticker to the voter.
next time come to my polling place, not only will you get a sticker, so will each child with you.