I did my civic duty this morning. I voted. Since I didn’t have to work today lines weren’t going to be a problem, so it was actually fun.
I had planned this romantic notion of walking to our polling place, perhaps with a few or our neighbors. The air was brisk, and the weather perfect. However, Laura had to be at Furman for lab early and I was leaving for my conference this morning. That meant that the little bit of time we would spend together today would be at the poll. A compromise was struck – she would drive me to our poll and I would walk back.
The parking lot for Aldersgate Methodist was completely full, so we parked on the street in front of the school. Even with the cars, we didn’t see anyone waiting outside, so we didn’t get a good feel for how crowded it actually was. When we got inside we found a make-shift cattle run zig-zagging through the church’s lobby. It looked like they could accommodate a crowd without anyone waiting outside.
The long line would advance in fits and starts. There would be a burst of activity, then nothing. At the time we figured they were letting in groups of people. However, we had no view of the polls, so we couldn’t tall what was really happening. It was a Disney-esque experience. Just as we got to the door that we could see, the line continued further.
Laura contended that Disney was different because there was stuff to look at. I disagreed – I was having fun people watching. Laura and I played a game of “guess how they are voting” based on nothing more than appearance and general attitude. As such these guesses could be completely wrong, but…There was the quintet dressed in severely conservative attire (ties and jackets for the young men, ankle-length skirts for the women) carrying Bibles who we guessed would be McCain supporters. There were the two smiling young African-Americans who looked happy to be voting for Obama.
Eventually the line split into A-K and L-Z, which explained the sudden bursts of movement further back in the line. I recognized the guy in front of us as a cleark at a local store. I also recognized the tune he was whistling as “Chester” by William Billings (“Let tyrants shake their iron rod, and slavery clang it’s galling chain. We fear them not…”). It was an appropriate tune, and I told him so, much to Laura’s dismay. From that point on we were forced into a whistled game of “Name that Tune” with themes from Indiana Jones, James Bond, and Ben Hur.
Finally, I got to the booth. I only voted for four candidates and left the others blank. Most of the local races were decided in the June primary, and I felt no need to further validate them. I actually voted for two Republicans over Democrats (GASP!) because I felt the Republicans were either the better choice, or the lesser of two evils. I did vote for Obama/Biden for president, and one Democrat for US house. So that’s a vote for two Democrats and two Republicans. An hour and a half later, I was done.
After voting I did enjoy a brisk walk back home. I then took my car in to get new tires, and while waiting, walked down to Denny’s for breakfast. It took less time to get my tires changed and to eat, but it wasn’t nearly as fun.
[tags]Election 2008, voting[/tags]