Chez Songbird, Politics

Present-ee Voter

As the only registered voter currently in residence Chez Songbird, I resist the suggestion that I vote early.

I grew up in a political family, and going to the polls had personal importance, although my dad had "retired" from politics by the time I could vote. Because I remember holding his hand on the way to the polling place, because I remember going behind the curtain with him when I was too little to read the names opposite the levers, because I remember the exciting sound of the machine recording his vote as he pulled the handle to open the curtain again, I like to vote on election day.

Pure Luck voted before he left for Non-Contiguous New England State, going down to City Hall and filling out an absentee ballot.

#1 Son, still in transition from home to his grown-up life in a Slice of the Big Apple, did not register in time there and also voted absentee in Vacationland, where he still has his driver's license. (And his medical bills. And his credit card offers.)

Snowman registered to vote and requested his absentee ballot on the same day in August. In our state, a young person turning 18 before Election Day can register to vote. He turned 18 on Thursday, so his vote will count. The ballot arrived at Land o'Lakes a few weeks ago, and he duly filled it out, signed it and returned it.

On Tuesday, after school, Light Princess will go with me to our polling place (at the Conservative Temple not far from here), and witness my vote.

I got a call last night from the state Democratic Party asking me to volunteer on Election Day. I have to work until 3, and then I'm going to vote, and then…well, he said, couldn't you vote early?

No. No, I really can't. I hope you'll understand. (I set a different time to volunteer.) He told me that even the phone bankers will start going door to door at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, to literally get out the vote, making sure people know where to go to cast their ballots.

This election fills me with excitement and a little terror! I've been choosing hope all year, even when fear threatened to command my attention instead. I'll be voting that hope on Tuesday.

7 thoughts on “Present-ee Voter”

  1. Until this election cycle, I lived (and/or was registered) in a county that votes exclusively by absentee–there’s no polling place to go to, even. In the primary I resisted early voting much as you have, because there’s something about the communal excitement and experience of election day. For this fall election, though, I couldn’t wait. I felt like that community experience was just as easily to be had standing in line for the early voting (which works the same as election day, with booths and machines and lines) as on Tuesday, and I was concerned about having to miss several hours of work on a key day in my workweek next week. So I went early. Would I again? Not sure. I’ll have to see how I feel on Tuesday when everyone is lining up outside the church to vote. (too bad the church isn’t MY polling place…sigh….that would change things significantly!)

  2. I voted early for the first time this year. If I were still in Cleveland, I’d wait, I think. I love going to the polls, seeing friends, talking to the workers. Shoot, if I didn’t have a church, I’d be out there in the cold and rain or snow (it was Cleveland, after all) holding an Obama sign or a sign for someone else. I’d probably have an election night party already lined up to go to (some candidate would have me). But, alas, I’m in Memphis where I haven’t worked to elect folks and where the ethos is so different.
    I don’t broadcast my political preferences. I think people know them, but I don’t flaunt them. I don’t want that to be a barrier for being a pastor. After all, I do honestly believe that good Christians can disagree about who is the best candidate for an office or how to solve a problem. But I miss being openly political.

  3. I REMEMBER THOSE LEVERS! from going into the machine with my mom. One of them made a curtain pull behind her – we were in a cave! I wasn’t to touch anything. Then she “did her duty.” I was so impressed. I couldn’t wait to be grown up and do my duty with the machine and the levers!
    So sad, those machines are gone, I’ve never voted in one. It’s like taking a Scantron test, now, no matter whether you go early or late.
    Given the discouragement of taking personal time at work, and the fact that I could easily vote on Saturday, I did so last week. But I will be sorry not to have something to DO toward that end on Tuesday.

  4. How is voting Personal Time?
    Having said that, I voted early because I wanted to turn it off in good conscience. And, since I live in Republican land standing in line with other voters just makes me feel alone.
    I cried in the car after voting. A reaction that surprised me.

  5. I know, sherry! MB, that’s awful!! But I guess we can’t count in slipping in and out quickly this year.

  6. It felt odd voting early, but I wanted to do it in case there were any problems. Also, I wasn’t working on the new assignment yet, so it seemed like a good time to go. But I missed the communal aspect.

  7. We voted early because we ran into the CO Senate majority leader at a party who told us that election day would be crazy long lines. But we did go to a polling place, rather than choosing the mail-in ballot, because my partner, for whom this is her first presidential election ever (she became a citizen 3 years ago) insisted on going for such an historic event (for her, and hopefully, the country).
    There was a steady little stream of folks when we voted. And, when we compared notes afterwards, we both got a little choked up as we filled in the little arrow for Obama.

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