Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Adventures In Voting

I set out to vote this morning and rather than drive my SUV, I thought I'd be extra patriotic and ride my bike to my polling place. I rounded the corner and off in the distance I could see that something was wrong. None of the usual election day flare was on display. No 'Polling Place' signs with little red, white and blue shiny mylar strips and banners. There were lots of people milling about out front in confusion. Inside, things weren't much different. The doors to the auditorium where the polls are normally located were locked tight and the room was dark.

I checked today's date on my cell phone, yep... November 8th. So I broke left and entered the library to find 3 librarians pulling their hair out while trying to determine where the correct polling place was for the 30 or so people that were inquiring. They were trying to pull up the state run web site that gave polling booth information and the site was down. Apparently I wasn't alone in this confusion.

To be clear, I'm certain that my voter guide had the new polling place info on it. But that sucker hit the recycle bin at least a week ago. I read nearly the entire thing, just not the part that counted most.

Then, bam! Someone at the bank of internet terminals at the library got through on the website and found a polling place just 2 blocks from my house. I pedaled over there and my name was on their voting roster. I picked up my ballot and cozied up to the voting booth right next to a Coke machine. After marking my votes, I dropped a dollar into the Coke machine to toast my patriotism and the damn machine ate my dollar yet delivered no libation. A rather ominous sign, I thought.

Not to be defeated, I sauntered over to the nice lady that was guarding the vote scanner and slid my ballot in and watched the counter go from 197 to 198.

Let freedom ring mutha f$@er.