Getting Out My Vote

I just voted. I am proud to say this is my 33 consecutive election. I’m not sure why, but I don’t think I voted when I was 21 (the eligible age then).

My first vote was in the Nixon – McGovern election of 1972. I was living in Charlotte, NC and voted at Mallard Creek 2 (whatever that is). I was glad to vote, though it meant little. In that election, in North Carolina, Nixon had more than twice as many votes as McGovern. It wasn’t a whole letter different in the nation as a whole.

Our current polling station is in Steffie’s old elementary school. The school, a one story experiment in open classrooms (a failed experiment in my opinion), makes a great place to vote. There’s a large parking lot. It’s away from any kind of congestion. The lunchroom, where the machines are set up, is spacious.

A ‘greeter’ from the Republican Party, who was handing out literature to everyone who walked from the parking lot to the school, told me 30% of the registered voters had voted by noon. Considering there are no truly contested contests here, that’s astounding. I would think that will translate to 70% or better turnout by the time polls close.

Though the poll watchers knew me, they correctly asked me to produce identification. I took out my drivers license, got a card to hand to the person standing alongside the voting machine, and voted.

The voting machines we use are similar… maybe the same… as the machines I remember as a kid. There is a horizontal row of levers for each party with each individual office or question on a single vertical line. The whole process of voting took 30 seconds, maybe less.

I like to think I am informed and my vote is meaningful, but the ability to vote, in the abstract, is the important thing.

I wish I knew the results now. There probably are some people, with early access to exit polls, who already know the results of this election. I’ll have to wait until 8:00 PM.

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