If you watch the news, listen to the radio, read a newspapear, listen to a podcast, etc. you know that yesterday was election day.
Personally, I think politics is a dull and dirty business that keeps a lot of people employed in a well-oiled machine that seemingly, cannot be disturbed. I didn’t feel inspired by any of the candidates–at least those I could really get a “read” on about their issues.
In my view, a good politician is a retired one! My husband didn’t even want to go and vote, but the ability to vote is a basic freedom in America, and I feel it is important to exercise that right. So off we went to the poll.
The first problem was finding out where to vote. I’ve lived (and voted) in my neighborhood for nearly 30 years. In all that time, the polling place has been the same, a few short blocks away. The polling place we had to go to is now a ten minute walk away, somewhere in a public school. It was a nice day, so my husband and I figured we’d go together to vote, and then get lunch–make it sort of a social occasion for the two of us.
When we got to the school, there were a few signs around a few lampposts indicating that voting would be taking place…somewhere. A lone pamphleteer–a worker from the Socialist Workers Party, was standing on the corner. I don’t think she knew where the voting booths were located, but she knew that they were somewhere, close by.
Being educated people, we figured out that we had to cross an empty, fenced-in area, and walk down a long ramp to a closed door without any signage. We pushed it open. The long hallway we encountered looked like the inside of a bomb shelter (it probably was a bomb shelter). Smart people as we are, we figured out we’d just walk until we saw someone or heard a noise. We made a left and there it was–the voting booths!
The man at the first desk was in charge of making sure we got to the right district’s booth. He felt sure he knew, then called us back to check again…then again. Finally, we were standing in front of the right polling place. The woman in charge of checking my name, began. She couldn’t get it right. Black? Bleckmer? No, I said, it’s Blackman, Black…and man. She began looking through the alphabetical list of names under BI….then BA….No, I said again, it’s BLackman, try BL. After finally figuring out how to find MY name, she began again with my husband’s name…taking about four minutes to find it. Luckily (for us, anyway) there was no one in the place, even though it was lunchtime and should have been fairly crowded. I shudder to think what the wait time would have been if there really were enough interested people to vote.
We voted, reluctantly…and instead of the usual and cheerful “thanks for voting today” we got blank stares…but at least we felt that we had done our civic duty.
But later, I wondered: the process was did they really want people to vote in this election? The process was lengthy and relatively inconvenient and somewhat unpleasant, and we really didnt’ feel excited to elect any of the people on the ballot. I am sure that many people said “why bother?”
I am wondering if our experience was unique, or if anyone reading this had a similar experience.
Did they REALLY want you to vote, or is the system designed to keep you away?