It was most definitely spur of the moment. On my way to work this morning after dropping off Little Abbey at daycare, I realized that the polls opened in a half hour. I didn't have any meetings or pressing issues first thing in the morning and it was dawning on a beautiful day. Why not drive by the polling place and see what the crowds were like if any. So I did and there was just one man in line reading a book.
So I sat and chatted with him and other voters that began to arrive for the half hour we had to wait. By the time the poll doors opened at 7:00, there were 50 people or more standing in line, about 47 more than I have ever seen at our polling station at any one time in past elections. I was suddenly very thankful that I decided to vote early.
This year, instead of just showing our identification and getting cross referenced in the books, we had to fill out a paper with our printed name, signed name, full address and phone number. What used to take just seconds per person now takes a minute or two per person. They never did look at my identification which I offered to show them. I'm guessing this was not the year to institute those changes.
I filled in the ovals on my ballot and brought it out to the electronic scanner. The one gentleman who was in front of me out front was also there holding his ballot. They asked me to "try" my ballot. The machine took it and spit it back out, evidently the same thing it had done to the other guy. So while they were tinkering with the scanner, we had to dump our ballots in a side mounted emergency holding tank until the scanner was working. Also not good for a day when record numbers are expected to vote.
But fifteen minutes after the polls opened, I had done my patriotic duty and voted. Now I am free to get to the public health office after work to get Little Abbey a flu shot without worrying about how long the line at the polls will be. Mrs. Abbey won't be able to vote until later this evening so Little Abbey and I will accompany her and I am free to entertain Little Abbey while Mrs. Abbey does her patriotic duty albeit I'm guessing in a much longer line. My fifth presidential election that I eligible to vote in is now over with. Tonight I shall watch the returns over a cold beer. It doesn't get more American than that.