Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democracy in Action, or, Does Anyone Want Pizza?

Yesterday, being election day, I went to exercise my democratic right to vote. My state offers early voting, but I never could make it to early voting because I find it nearly impossible to get out of school before 5:00 pm which was when early voting closed for the day. (And who says teachers leave at 2:30? Morons.)

I got in line at 5:30 pm.

I cast my ballot at 9:15 pm.


However, I have not missed an election since I turned 18 and registered to vote and I certainly wasn't going to let 500 people get in my way. It actually turned out to be kind of amusing, really. When I got to the elementary school gym, which is my polling place, there were already about 500 people in lines snaking back and forth all through the gym. I had brought a sudoko puzzle book to work on but pretty soon it turned into more of a social event with everyone chatting about this that and the other, so I gave up on the puzzle. Someone went around offering cookies and coffee to those of us in line. People were discussing phoning out for pizza. Others were on cell phones talking to local reporters about the fact that there were only three - Three! - voting machines for a precinct that sees a new subdivision opening every month. Everytime someone finished voting, they'd throw up their hands and cheer and everyone would clap.

When I finished voting there were about 100 people still in line behind me. I heard that they finally finished around 11:00 pm.


Mrs. T said...

Oh my gosh! That is crazy! I'm so proud of you for sticking it out and staying in line to vote! Many would have given up, I'm sure.
Our polls closed at 9:30. I voted absentee. My husband worked at the polls and he didn't say anything about long lines or anything.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

What a great story of democracy in action--especially the cheering for voters as they finished casting their ballot ('cause you know that some of those people didn't vote for YOUR candidates!).

NYC Educator said...

That's awful. But I'm glad you stuck it out.

You ought to complain to whomever got elected. That's simply preposterous.