Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Election Day

On this foggy, unseasonably warm morning I arrived at my township hall about a minute after 7:00 a.m. It was difficult to find a spot for my vehicle; and a significant line already snaked down the main hallway, out the door and into the parking lot.

I got in line, and was quickly followed by others. My township is heavily skewed toward retirees, and usually on election days I'm one of the few people present discernably under 70. But this morning a good proportion of voters were younger people; I saw many younger men in work jackets embroidered with their names. A couple of teenagers were nervously shifting from foot to foot in the queue.

The man behind me started talking to me. "I got two guys at work who are always complaining about 'the government' this and 'the government' that. I tell them, 'If you can't bother to vote, then you can't complain.'" He paused for effect. "And I don't see them here this morning."

The conversation in line was quiet; mostly non-political; talk about going to work or going out for breakfast when we were done.

And we waited. And waited. And waited.

As the line slowly crept inside the hall, I started feeling uncharitable toward the voters up ahead, already at the machines. What is taking you so long? I thought as one guy in Carhartts lingered in his station for a full 15 minutes, head in hand. Have you not thought about how you were going to vote until now? What could you possibly still be deciding?

It was 7:40 when I finally got a ballot in my hand.

I voted.

I hope you did, or do, too.

7 comments:

Beth said...

I'm guessing your Carhartts guy had thought about who he was voting for, but not the actual process. He may have never seen how long the ballot actually is before and not known how he wanted to vote lower down, or rather he could get away with doing a partial ballot. He may have had some reading difficulty or other issue that was making it take a while. That said, I would have been just as frustrated as you.

LutheranChik said...

And just for the record -- my coat of choice this season is my L.L. Bean tan canvas barn coat. So I was simply using a descriptor, not making a value judgment about persons wearing utilitarian canvas jackets.

Sarah S-D said...

as i say on my wordpress blog (sarahbuildsbridges.wordpress.com) i'm hooked on voting stories today. so glad you shared yours here. it is a very exciting day.

Beth said...

I always thought Carhartts were overalls.

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

Yeah, those other things on the ticket are a puzzle. We had to vote for Supreme Court Justices, even though they can't campaign. But I had gotten a letter from a judge who is a friend and he was supporting a challenger, so at least I knew something about one judge.

Plus, we had two things that will increase our taxes on our ballet.

toujoursdan said...

I am on pins and needles. There are election parties all over Ottawa (Canada) tonight. I will be going to one party hosted by Democrats Abroad.

LutheranChik said...

I'm sitting here freaking out watching the early returns...FT has to keep talking me down.