My husband and I voted today. We had planned to wait until next week when more satellite locations in our area were slated to open with longer hours. I couldn’t wait so after dropping off the kid at school this morning, we headed to the polls. I had heard about the long lines, but we were not quite prepared for the line that snaked through the parking lot. With my coffee in hand, several books, and my journal, I decided to leave everything in the car except the coffee and journal. Larry told me to leave the coffee, but I did not listen. There was a chill in the air and the wind was nipping at my ears at about 9:12 am when we made it to the end of the line. I gave Larry my coffee mug and began to write down blogging ideas for my next post. “See I told you to leave that coffee in the car,” Larry said as I handed him the mug and began to alternate between writing, people watching, and chatting.
This is our democracy at work! One person, one vote…the great equalizer. Everyone’s vote counts the same.We watched as folks walked to the line trying to find the end. Some left deterred. Hopefully they will come back prepared to wait next time. Others filed in behind us and waited. These Americans were all there in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There was a lively couple behind us talking in animated tones about the election. I heard the guy say he was voting for Michelle’s baby daddy.
The poll workers handed out sample ballots. I had already seen one. I saw two men and a woman standing by a news camera. As I got a better look, I noticed the woman was CNN Anchor, Fredricka Whitfield. I snagged her attention after a couple of tries and got an autograph. I was secretly wishing to be interviewed, but remembered I hadn’t put on any cosmetics! It made no difference because she did not begin filming until I was closer to the entrance.
They were letting the elderly bypass the line and vote without waiting. One older gentleman and his wife arrived just as we were edging closer to the front. The man wore a McCain/Palin hat. I watched with great interest to see if the poll worker would confront him. She greeted him and gave them the paperwork with no mention of the hat. Some people in line, including me, began to grumble about this. I wasn’t entirely sure if wearing a hat was considered campaigning, but I’d heard reports of a woman sent away because of her Obama t-shirt. A guy behind us pointed to the “No campaigning sign” and asked the poll worker about the hat. She said, “Oh he sure is wearing a hat.” She then asked him to remove it and tuck it in his jacket. I guess the poll worker didn’t notice.
The guy I referenced earlier who made the baby daddy comment said he was born in 1956 and this was the first time he had a reason to vote. Wow! I asked for his name to include in this blog. His name is Amin Polite. I wanted a picture but there was no time since we were next up to cast our ballot.