Thursday, February 7, 2008

Not All That Tuesday

Election Day almost didn't happen, for me. I forgot about it, until I was driving my son to basketball practice at 7:00 pm. An immediate U-turn, mad scramble to find the ballot, and moments later, I was waiting in line at a grammar school that is about ten blocks away from our home.

Now, ten blocks isn't that far, but the original polling place was up the street from us, just about a 2 minute walk away. This would have made it easy for me to go earlier in the day with my niece and nephew in tow. The day before, a postcard arrived with the polling change. It just happened to catch my eye - and given it was merely a cheaply printed post card, I'm surprised I noticed it at all. My husband said that the old place had taped a small piece of paper to the stoop instructing confused voters where to go.

The new place was located at a grade school cafeteria. In actuality, it was a small room, inconveniently located at the furthest point from the street only parking - you have to wonder how you maintain security at a school when you have strange adults wandering in and out all day. Anyway, according to a small red hand printed sign, I was to follow the red signs, which I couldn't find in the dark. There were, however, white signs pointing the way.

Just my luck, everyone in line ahead of me had a problem. One person claimed she knew her polling place was at a school in Torrance, but she didn't know which one. Another couple had absentee ballots, but didn't send them in, so they were grilled to ensure they weren't voting twice. Another man was at the wrong polling place in the wrong city. Although there were 6 volunteers, they were, for the most part, retirees whose eyesight and hearing ain't what it use to be.

I gave my son the 'why me' look.

I also gave him the 'don't say anything' nudge with my elbow.

He really didn't mind because he knew he'd miss having to sweat out '17's' at practice.

The actual voting went smoothly, and Nick grabbed the 'I Voted' sticker as we rushed out the door past the 10 people still waiting in line.

We only missed 15 minutes of practice.

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