My Day At The Polls

by third planet living

I woke up this morning around 5:30 a.m. eager to go cast my vote in one of the most exciting elections in our country’s history, (certainly in my own history).  I arrived at my polling place right when the polls opened at 7, and there was already a good sized line, maybe fifty or sixty people, ahead of me.  In ten minutes the line had doubled behind me.  

“Right on,” I thought.  In spite of the chilly and misty morning, lots of people were coming out to vote!  I was pretty stoked. 

Thirty minutes later, I was still in very good spirits, although the line had barely budged and the mist had amassed to become a drizzle.  “People have endured worse things than rain in order to vote,” my post-Bleeding Kansas mind kept telling me.  So true.

Tick tick tick.

One of the poll workers came out and shouted to the line that TWO precincts were voting there today, resulting in the slight delay, and asked everyone in precinct 20041 to follow him.  Because he was forming a brand new line, (with no one in it yet), I eagerly flipped over my sample ballot, hoping I was in precinct 20041… wha wha WHA, no such luck.  I was precinct 20020, known to me as the Precinct of Doom.

I waited another half hour as line B moved like lightening, watching people from precinct 20041 just stroll in casually, (a bit cavalierly?), vote and hit the road as I stood grounded, moving maybe a couple feet every five minutes.  I think it started raining harder.  I could tell the images of border ruffians, or disenfranchisers moving polling places was losing it’s potency.  I was in trouble, and heading down the slippery slope that many-a-spoiled overprivileged “instant gratification” American goes through in such circumstances, when a new thought strengthened my resolve:  I had TOTALLY waited in longer lines to get on Splash Mountain.  

At 8:30 I finally made it inside and was able to see what the heck was causing the iniquity in line movement.  I’d get to the bottom of things!  Over to the left, where line B moved like the Sneetches through the Star-On Machine, was a table where a team of six or seven beautiful, edgy, FAST poll workers shuffled people gracefully through their line.  The poll booths were full, people were smiling, it was a virtual polling paradise.  Over on my side sat three people… a very very old woman who kept leaving to go to the bathroom,  a young man who must have turned eighteen like, yesterday, with shifty eyes and a general look of terror and confusion, and a woman kind of, not doing a damn thing, slumped comfortably in her chair. A dozen polling booths lined the wall and TWO people were voting in them.  The freaking things were empty because the power trio couldn’t quite get their shit together.

One of the “in-charge” polling volunteers felt the crowd beginning to turn, and stepped in.  He told his crew that there was obviously a problem, and that they HAD to speed things up.  Comfy chair woman said, “There’s no problem,” and then, my favorite part, “Don’t believe the hype.”  WHAT!?  The HYPE?  If I hadn’t have thought her one liner was so funny, I may have escorted her outside to see the “hype” first hand.  But I voted instead, collected my “I Voted” stickers (that’s right I took TWO bitches) and walked a little taller ‘cross the slippery sidewalk and back to my car.

A good start to a good day…. now let’s see how this story ends, hey?

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