Election Day

Goodness, I’m offline for a day or two and Word Press gives me a hard time when I try to access my blog. Geez.  I suppose everyone else will forget me too, but the days of writing a post every day are gone. 

I might be retired but I’m awfully busy. Take yesterday for example, David and I stood in line two hours to cast a ballot in our election and no one we voted for won. While we were standing in line, I leaned on the fence to the playground (we vote in our local public school). and then propped myself on the wall when we reached the building.

I felt like I would collapse before we reached the multipurpose room where elections in our precinct have been held the past few years. Suddenly we were inundated with about 40 “observers.” We had read the UN was sending observers to our voting sites, and should have been ready because our site is the closest to the downtown hotels, but the sudden influx of unwelcome visitors was a bit much.

I was just about to make a final approach to a row of chairs the election officials had placed along the wall for the disabled and seniors like me, when about a dozen of these people, oblivious to my plight (or the woman behind me with a walker), swarmed around and settled like unwanted insects at a picnic. 

I wasn’t about to take this behavior lightly, and leaving my customary charming welcoming self behind, I held up my cane threateningly, and said in my sternest voice, “Do you mind if I sit down!” The whole group of observers suddenly rose as a group and floated silently away to annoy other voters. 

Welcome to America where nasty old ladies with threatening canes are not to be toyed with. 

                                                                  —000— 

Voting is a serious affair for most of us, and except for one idiot talking on his cell phone in Swahili or some strange dialect, the polling station was silent as a church or a library. Everyone else the multiethnic crowd of voters was extremely well-behaved.  A few children tagged along with a parent to observe voting. 

After we processed through the external line to reach the station where we showed our ID, I did my usual bit which involves me handing David my cane (thus tying up two of the people at the reception desk) while I plop my bag on the table and search through my wallet. (I could not do this while I was in line because I had no free hands.) 

Every election, I look for my voter card and can’t find it. After I have pulled everything from my wallet, including car registration and insurance cards, unfilled prescriptions, and other cards (health insurance, long-term health care, etc.), I finally toss my driver’s license on the table with its 10-year old photo of me looking like a wanted criminal. ‘Oh yes, that’s you,’ says the guy at the table.

Next the ID fellow directed David and me to a woman in a purple sweater who showed us two more lines, one for the paper ballots, the other for the machines. Although we have used the paper ballots in Democrat primaries when the polling station is practically empty, this time we both used the electronic machines to instantly record our votes.

And it was over in a flash. I returned to the chairs along the wall to wait for David who always takes longer to vote.  I yelled ‘Pop’ when I saw him (his nickname from age 5) and everyone in line stared at me as if I had yelled fire in a crowded theatre.

When they saw the crippled old man hobbling with a cane, and wearing his red Tam o Shanter hat and his new grey grandfather sweater they smiled indulgently.

<–not David

Thirty years of living in this neighborhood, and I ran into one friend outside who asked me loudly if I wanted some hot peppers from her garden for my parrots.  David saw a friend who had voted for Obama last election but changed his vote this time. While I pretended I did not know them and walked to the car, both men, hard of hearing, yelled at each other and hugged.  Although the crowd was about 99% Blue, they did not turn and attack them.

Wonder what those UN observers thought? Read all about it here—>

http://www.washingtonpost.com/newssearch/search.html?st=UN+observers&submit=Submit+Query

   

11 thoughts on “Election Day

  1. Makes me glad I live on the edge of a small town. Mostly I walk into an empty voting room and the women at the desks are waiting for someone – anyone to come and vote.

  2. This is the first year we voted by mail. I’ve never before seen either observers or lines at our poling place. This year we made a decision not to chance my climbing the hill to get home. The election itself was almost anticlimactic after that. I love this recitation of your travails.

  3. We went a little later than usual to avoid the crowd. Had to wait for a parking space. The lady who was supposed to supply little forms to sign left to “sharpen some pencils” and said, “just go right in.” We did. The next lady asked why we had no little form. Another lady handed us two forms. I presented my registration card. The lady said, “We don’t need those.” I asked why then the cards were issued to us. She shrugged. We voted. Outside, a young man waited at a table, apparently to conduct exit interviews. He looked at us and said, “Have a nice day.”

    It’s all part of the American experience.

  4. You may not be posting daily, but forget about you? Never. I sympathize with the journey to vote and the energy it requires. I never used to think of the physical demands of voting. Now I plan. No chairs in our precinct but we didn’t stand in line either. I cheered you on in the nasty old lady segment and read it to Hubby. He wanted to know what I was laughing about.. We don’t have voter ID, but in other situations requiring ID, I, too, am scrabbling around to find my criminal likeness. Loved the not david pix and the accompanying observations acknowledging the changes brought on by staying alive.

  5. Oh my goodness! You guys had to wait in line a long time too? Hawaii ran out of paper ballots and polling places had only one electronic voting machine. The lines were horrendous in some polling places. They were still in line when Obama was already declared the winner. I thought the president was talking about us, but I guess he was talking about you too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s