I wish I could get away with the excuse “I am in a fog”.

Because the truth is that I am almost always bright-eyed and bushy tailed when I get to work. Even on Monday mornings. And I was today although I have to admit, I am a more than a little fatigued from the uber-long electoral campaign and want it to be over with.

It was fun today to talk to a young colleague who will be voting for the first time. He is an immigrant who has obtained citizenship and this will be his first voting experience. Can I just tell you he was excited! Did we have advice for him? Oh, yes we did! Go early. Take your driver’s license (technically not required but simplifies the process). Go early. Bring your smart phone. You’ll need it to play Angry Birds while you’re waiting. If you don’t go early. Do your homework before you get there — it’s a long ballot. Read it carefully when you get there anyway, so you don’t accidentally “over-vote”. Go early. Because the people who vote only for the president or vote a straight ticket will be balanced out by those will take a loooooonnnnnggg time to read and re-read everything on the ballot and stand there hemming and hawing about who/what to vote for. Watch out for “reverse” language on ballot proposals. Go early. If there is a “citizenship” checkbox on your ballot application, you can ignore it. Our Secretary of State got a little greedy but she was squelched. Go early. Go early. I am excited for this young man. We rescheduled a meeting largely to make sure he had enough time to vote tomorrow without worrying about work.

I am not all that excited for myself. I am envious of those in states where early voting is allowed. Well, it sort of is here in that you can vote absentee but you have to state that you will truly not be able to get to the polls on election day in order to vote absentee. I voted absentee back in the August primary here in the 5th ward of the Planet Ann Arbor. I was legitimately out of town on vacation for that election. I *will* be in town tomorrow and the polling place is literally in my back yard. I couldn’t bring myself to lie about my whereabouts just to get an absentee ballot. Anyway, I *like* to vote in person. I just don’t like to wait in line. I have a plan for tomorrow. We’ll see how well it works. I will take my driver’s license.

I don’t want to turn this into an ugly old ranty post but I am disheartened when I hear reports about how long it is taking people to vote early. From what I am hearing, a lot of the people affected by this are already somewhat disenfranchised and may not have the luxury of having a job like mine, where if you are an hour (or two or three or nine) late because you had to wait that long to vote, nobody much cares. They also don’t (that I know of) care who you vote for but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I think we need to make voting more accessible for all of our citizens, whatever their socio-economic status is. That doesn’t seem to be happening with this election. It’s all easy for me. I’m a baggy old white woman with a good job and a polling place in my back yard. Others? Not so much. But I will be voting along the lines of “those people”. Partly because it is in my own interest and partly because “those people” matter too.

I don’t know what my voting experience will be tomorrow but I will probably report it, unless big bugs attack the earth and then I will be a little busy with my rocket launcher in the back yard or wherever. I hope for the best for my young colleague. I don’t care who he votes for. I do hope he has a decent experience. Knowing him, he will have some ideas for improving the process [wink].

Seeya on the other side.

2 Responses to “I wish I could get away with the excuse “I am in a fog”.”

  1. jay Says:

    We voted today.. we could have waited until tomorrow, but we ALL vote by mail ( or in our case drop box), so there is no polling place comaraderie to look forward to. I miss the buzz.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I kind of miss voting in person, but it’s so much easier by mail! 🙂