I am not going to tell my political affiliation or voting preferences. I am not going to discuss the candidates or the issues. We have had months of hearing about every point of view on every subject. We have endured name calling and hearing about the end of the world as we know it if either candidate’s party wins. Today we end the chaos and we were had the opportunity to vote.
Forty years ago I spent the night watching the election returns from a hospital bed. I was in labor with my son and spent the night with Nixon and Goldwater. We didn’t have cable that long ago and there was nothing else on TV. I was miserable that day but went to the polling place and voted early.
I decided to avoid the early morning crowd today and headed out to my polling place about 10am. I posted a question on facebook about the lines at my polling place. The responses and pictures indicated a very long line and wait. The weather turned quite cold and wet today and I was not excited about the possibility of standing in the cold. Reports from other polling places weren’t any more encouraging.
I arrived to find cars parked up and down the street for blocks. I kept driving and found a place fairly close. The line was outside but not as long as they had been in the morning. I joined the group and found the line moving rather quickly. In only fifteen minutes, I was at the front door. I was excited to see how close I was. As I entered the building I realized the line went past the doors to vote and down a very long hall, circled at the end, and then back down the hall. I decided to check my facebook and handle some emails in line.
The people in line were all patient. No one was complaining about the long lines. People were chatting and sharing stories of voting in past years. Neighbors greeted each other with smiles and hugs. I ran into a couple of people I haven’t seen in a while. Babies were strapped into strollers while younger kids ran around and showed their disinterest in the process.
I was very surprised to see a room set up along the line with two people in scrubs and signs that read, ” Vote and Vax.” You could get your flu shot while waiting in line with the guarantee that you would not lose your place in line. I didn’t see many people taking advantage of the offer.
Several times we heard yelling and cheering coming from the main polling room. We all shared our ideas about the noise. When we got closer we heard the cheering again and heard the crowd cheering, “A first timer.” They seemed genuinely excited about the new voters.
The last time I voted we had voting booths. This time we had long tables with touch screen computers and small dividers. It provided space for more people to vote at one time. Now if we could just figure out how to allow people to vote at home online.
I am glad I decided to exercise my right to vote. I will watch with excitement to see who wins both nationally at the local level. I know there will be many emotions as the results are announced. I only hope we can come together and support our nation and newly elected officials.
This blog post is part of NaBloPoMo. The theme for November’s NaBloPoMo is blogging for blogging’s sake.