I have voted.
I always vote. It’s my civic duty. It’s my license to complain, and if you haven’t noticed already I like to complain and I would hate to have my license revoked. If you don’t vote, you have no right to be upset at anything that happens afterward with the government.
So I vote.
We usually take the girls with us when we vote, but they have seen the process enough now to know how it works and they’ve been paying attention to the election all along – granted, hard not to do in this house – so they know what the issues are. They’re probably better informed than a good percentage of the people who will actually vote, sad to say. They decided that they’d rather not wait in the lines, especially since our polling place moved away from one of the local elementary schools and into the City Building, where there is no playground as such. I suppose they could have played on the big comfy City Council chairs, but someone probably would have objected. So I dropped them off at school this morning and headed off to my polling place.
I can never remember what ward I’m in.
I used to know. It took me several years to beat it into my skull so that it would stay there, but eventually I figured out the right number and would unerringly head to the table with that number on it at least three times out of five. There are always two wards voting at the same polling place for some reason, so it was a bit of a gamble. But for a while there, I was winning.
Then they redistricted and now I’m in a completely new ward with a whole different number and my third different polling place since I moved here. At least I remembered to go to the right building. That’s a start.
When I got there I remembered that last time I had gone to the table on the right rather than on the left, so I stood in that line. Turns out they switched places this time, so eventually I went around and stood in the other line too. I can honestly say that both lines moved equally quickly and were provided with the same level of amenities (zero) and friendly, helpful staff (two).
In Wisconsin we still use paper ballots, which means that there is a chance the votes will be counted accurately. I like that.
I signed the voter log, got my little ticket, walked it four steps over to the one table in the room where I hadn’t already stood in line and exchanged the ticket for a ballot, and then walked over to the little blue pedestal-like things they set up for you to make your suggestions. All the candidates are listed with an arrow head and arrow tail next to their names, and you connect the head and tail next to the candidate you want. No chads. No butterfly ballots. No confusion as to what mark goes with what candidate. No easily hacked digital machines with phantom software patches installed mere days ahead of the election and kept secret from election monitors (Go Ohio!). Why don’t they all work this way?
Don’t answer that. I already know and it depresses me no end.
But I made my marks and slid my ballot into the machine that reads them and counts them, and then I was off to take on the rest of my day.
Go vote. It’s important. If it weren’t important there wouldn’t be so many people trying to stop you from doing it.
Voter #92 in my ward, 8:20am, on a grey and chilly day here in Wisconsin.
Because that’s what citizens of the republic do.