Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Voter Has Voted

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.


sage said...

I voted right after I dropped my daughter off at the polls--you make me feel old, after reading that this was your 5th Presidential election, I had to go back and count and this was my 9th Presidential election. (Sorry Murf, I didn't get to vote for Taft)

R. Sherman said...

I voted yesterday because I'm out of my county today. Please congratulate the Missus on her first election. This is my 13th election, (Eisenhower was president when I was born), eight of which I've voted in.


The Real Mother Hen said...

Hhmm... I just realize something, I've never voted, not even once in my entire life!
Guess that makes me a baby, since Sage measures his age by the number of times he has voted.
Great! This means regardless who wins, I get to throw toys out of my pram tonight, just for the fun of it!

Ed Abbey said...

Sage - Sorry to age you. I had to go back and figure them up too and I had four less!

R. Sherman - I will. Glad you voted.

Mother Hen - There is a first time for everything. I have not heard the use of the word pram outside of the deep south. Is it used in Oregon?

Murf said...

I thought pram was only used in England and I highly doubt any of them would settled in the deep south here. :-)

Ed Abbey said...

Murf - You're right. I was confusing pram with buggy which is the term they use in the south.

Murf said...

That must've been painful for you to write. Glad I was here for you. ;-)

Murf said...

By the way, I'm really enjoying the new comment boxes you have going. I'm going to have to check on how to do that myself.

Ed Abbey said...

I saw it in the what's new on the Buzz page. It seemed easier so I did it. I like it too.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh! I let it slip out!

Honestly, I'm inspired to do a post on my "British" side... but that is likely to hurt the fragile feelings of my American blogging friends!


Gidget said...

The woman in front of me this morning had to show her driver's license so I had my ID in hand ready to verify my identity (after filling out that piece of paper) but they never asked for it. Maybe the woman in front of me was a first time voter in the county or had only recently registered. It's a mystery.

The machine spit my ballot back too. I looked at my ballot for a few minutes, wondering if I had missed an arrow indicating direction (like putting your dollar in the vending machine opposite the picture) but didn't see anything. My second attempt worked so I felt assured that my vote was in there.