Today is Election Day — a day when Americans exert their founding-fathers-given (or suffrage-given, depending on one’s gender) right to vote. Sure its a midterm election, but its important nonetheless.
I voted this morning before work with my sister and my dad. New York State switched to new paper/scantron ballots from the old metal machines with the switches and the curtain. I suppose these voting machines were chosen to be less susceptible to tampering, but if you’ve ever heard the name Diebold, that certainly is not the case.
Oh well, I wonder how the elderly are going to take to filling in ovals with a flare marker in all the appropriate columns.
When we arrived at the polls, I stopped to take a photo outside of the polling place. It has become a tradition, ever since the first time I was able to vote. For me, that photo sort of doubles as proof and a recognition of all that the right to vote represents to me.
Once inside the gymnasium-turned polling place, we were greeted with familiar faces — the same group of elderly volunteers we seem to see there every year.
Once I gave my name and address the gray-haired woman helping me turned to the lady next to her and declared “See?! There is a [name of my street]! Told you!” Although that was a little disconcerting, I responded by saying that yes, in fact, my street existed, and that it was only a block or two away.
The voting process wasn’t too dissimilar to marking Scantron sheets back in middle school, which sort of seemed appropriate since I was voting inside of one. Then I was lead towards an elections volunteer wearing a pretty stylish hat who showed me how to feed the ballot into the scanning machine.
The machine reminded me of the annoying money-taking thing on a vending machine because it didn’t pull my ballot inside right away, but sort of backed it out, then back in, then back out again, before finally taking it.
I stood there and watched until the screen said BALLOT ACCEPTED, and then waited for my family and got some free Halloween candy sitting there in a bowl as a reward.
Not bad, I thought, did my civic duty. See you next year, when we re-elect Obama.