The important thing is not that I voted early or that I voted for candidates from the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties.
The how of my voting really stood out.
On my day off, I had several things to accomplish. An elderly neighbor was stopping by first thing to pick up blank bills of sale I had printed for him. I needed to pick up from the gym the nutritious, no preservative meals I order. I also needed to find out how to tune up my diesel pickup, which is sluggish at startup, as if it just doesn’t want to go where I want it to go. I needed to go to an office near the airport to do some administrative paperwork.
And, I needed to vote.
When my neighbor arrived for the paperwork, he asked where I was heading on such a cold and windy day, understanding that I work from home. When I mentioned the voting part, he said he had considered doing the same thing but that when he went to a nearby recreation center to cast his ballot, the line was out the door.
I decided that I would definitely vote early, as I had the time today to stand in line, but I know I won’t have another day to do so before Election Day.
For a workday, the parking lot of the recreation center was almost packed. Downstairs, seniors did aerobics, the pool and basketball court were unused, but the auditorium was packed.
I turned off my cellphones (work and personal), and the woman behind me asked how long was the wait.
“Twenty minutes,” the greeter assured us.
The number of people inside the auditorium seemed to belie the woman’s words.
Sort of like when you’re at a popular restaurant and ask how long is the wait, and the host gives you a time frame that you should add about 15 more minutes to for accuracy.
At a glance, about 100 voters were in the seats at any given time, and six or seven were standing.
But, the flow was efficient.
A woman ushered us into a row of seats, sort of like at a school assembly, so we didn’t have to stand while awaiting check-in.
The wait time for check-in was about 15 minutes, which gave us time to review the sample ballots.
Then, the same woman ushered us by row, sort of like the ushers do at church when you have to walk up to the front of the church to drop your offering in the collection plate, to one of a half-dozen or so check-in stations.
I thanked the woman at the station for working so we could vote early and asked if she normally works at the county headquarters.
No. She has her own cleaning business but took on the polling place job temporarily for a little extra money.
I assumed incorrectly that all folks who work the polling stations are county employees.
Anyway, within 20 minutes, I had checked in and had voted.
Every vote counts – especially yours.
Election Day is Nov. 6, but if you have to chance to vote at your leisure, why wait?
Well, wait at least until Sandy passes, if you’re in its path.
Note from blog.usa.gov: Check your state election website to find your polling location and hours, and for voter ID rules. Learn more about how to research the various candidates in federal, state and local elections.
- 12 threats to your vote (salon.com)
- Harris County shatters records for early voting – Houston Chronicle (chron.com)
- Early voting in Tennessee headed toward a record (tricities.com)
- PA, The Mississippi Of The North, Will Get UN Sanctioned Election Observers (philebrity.com)
- More pews and churches in Ohio (balloon-juice.com)
- Take Advantage of Early Voting (theroot.com)
- Early Voters Met With Long Lines (miami.cbslocal.com)
I’m not a dog lover. Just to be clear, I’m not a cat lover either. I’m a horse lover.
Thus, my dilemma. I have dogs, and I know they deserve a better owner.
I got Taco, a blue Chihuahua, in 2004 when he was 2. I got Smirk, a Terrier/Chihuahua mix, in 2009 when she was 1.
Remember when you were in elementary school and learned the song about the old lady who swallowed the fly? It goes something like this: There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. I don’t know why she swallowed the fly; I guess she’ll die. She swallowed a spider to catch the fly; I don’t know why she swallowed the fly …
It goes on until she swallows several things, ultimately a horse, and ends, “She’s dead, of course.”
Well, I got Taco because I bought a horse. I then needed a horse trailer and found one at an auction. I bought the horse trailer from a man who had a dog.
The dog’s name was Blue. I jokingly asked if I could have this “vicious” dog in his front yard.
When he called me to say I could have the dog, he jokingly called the dog Taco.
The name stuck.
After I bought the horse and then the trailer, I bought a truck to haul the trailer. Then, the horse in the trailer and the dog and I in the truck, moved from North Carolina to Georgia.
Taco had been a hybrid dog. By that, I mean he stayed outside during the day and in the house at night. I maintained the schedule, as I’ve never been a dog-in-the-house person.
Remember, I’m not even a dog lover.
Taco hung “near” Animal, my Goldweiler (golden retriever/Rottweiler mix). Animal tolerated Taco but didn’t really like him.
When I moved north, Taco went with me and became an inside dog. Visiting friends showered him with the attention he craved but didn’t get from me. For the four years I lived near the nation’s capital, Taco got attention. I felt so bad that he had to stay at home alone while I went to work that I got him a companion.
Smirk. Initially, she ran away from him as he constantly tried to sniff her. Eventually, they settled down and got along.
Then, I moved back to Georgia, and all that attention the dogs had gotten stopped.
I like the concept of having dogs nearby, but I don’t like petting them. I like watching them run. I like that they greet me when they see me.
I don’t pick them up and rub them. I don’t brush them. I bathe them when they stink.
I do buy them really good dog food and treats they like. I bought them pocket-pillow beds that they can sleep in or on. I bought them heated water bowls and heated mats to lie on.
I keep their shots up to date. Of course, I make sure they have fresh water.
That’s it. That’s the extent of what I do for them.
For all of the warm and fuzzy feelings I get from having them around, I know I don’t return that feeling to them.
My dogs deserve better, so I’ve decided to start looking for a new owner for them.
It’s time to face reality. My dogs need a dog lover.