Citizenship

>> Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Four years ago, I voted in my first Presidential election (no, I'm not that young, I just never had before). We went to the church down the end of our road around 10:30. We'd been told there'd be lines at busy times, so we figured that was safe. It was raining and windy. There was a line... from the reg desk inside the... gym?... out into the lobby. It took us maybe half an hour total from leaving the house to returning to the house. I figured that "a bad line" in that situation would maybe have been out into the parking lot or something.

So when they said this year they expected a really high turnout, we thought "Well, we'll go around 10:30ish again, and just expect a little bit more of a wait." Yes, we're in a new state with new people, and we don't really know how it will go, but we just live a mile away so we'll run out, maybe take an hour instead of half.

Today's voting checklist:

  • rain
  • wind
  • no jackets (cuz "it'd only be a bit")
  • nothing to sit on (cuz "it'd only be a bit")
  • multiple districts in one location
  • line confusion
  • nice people having conversations
  • even nicer people running off to the closest pizza place and buying pizza and crazy bread to share with everyone around them
  • FOUR HOURS. Yes. 4. Hours. We arrived at 10:15. We joined the line. We then realized that even though we live in Windsor Hill, we're in the Lincoln district, so we went to the other line. Which, while shorter, actually moved more slowly. We returned home at 2:00.
  • When we arrived home, I also discovered I'd left all the cats outside on the porch. (cuz "it'd only be a bit"). Sigh. At least they still seem to love me.
I feel bad for the guy standing just behind us in line; when he arrived at 7am there was only one line, instead of one for each district. They split the line at some point and he ended up in the wrong one; he got all the way up to the desk after waiting for three hours, at which point they would not let him vote because he was in the wrong line and made him GO BACK TO THE END of the right line. He ended up having been in that parking lot for almost SEVEN hours. He was upset, but quiet about it, and I thought it was pretty cool that he felt it was important enough to stick it out. He finally voted right after we did.

Here's the map of Cathedral, where we voted. Click on it to see it up close. The red line is where we stood and waited. The yellow line is where the lady who stood with us told us that the line went this morning before standard work starting hours ("all the way out to the main road!") She apparently had nothing else to do today, so she drove by every half hour/45 minutes since this morning waiting to see when the line went down.


So anyway, we've done our duty and put in our votes. I actually spent all day yesterday looking up information on the local offices; it was discouraging how little information was available online, and there were a LOT of local positions with just one name of the person already on the job.*

A friend of mine is spending her day volunteering as a polling help person for Team Obama; her job is to travel around to polling places and help things go smoothly (non-partisanly). She told us all that if the wait was longer than 20 minutes we should call our local O field office and they'd send someone out, but I couldn't find any phone numbers for our local O field office. Which was sad. They definitely need help at our polling place!

I'm sure four years from now I'll feel differently, but I'm suddenly feeling all patriotic and wish I'd volunteered. I hate seeing a need and not being able to help... I'm all organizational, and totally could have helped people at least feel like they weren't standing around catching pneumonia in a parking lot for nothing!

At least we can go get a free coffee at Starbucks and a free sandwich at Chik-Fil-A with our "I VOTED" stickers!

*No, I'm not telling.

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About This Blog

Life is about changes; transitions from one place to another, from one purpose to another, from one being to another. They say that the person you are today is a completely different person from who you were ten years ago and who you'll be ten years from now. So far, at the age of 33, I've had four major transitions in my life which redefined who I am. Two years into the results of the most recent transition I am again - still - exploring how God is shaping me. Over the next few months I hope to review my past and set goals for the future, and embrace the next adventure of rediscovering me.
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