“Vote early and vote often,” John likes to tell me. He thinks that’s funny.
We voted early 7:45 a.m. (just once each). We got up, and walked a half-block down to our community center. It was bustling with voters—some with their children. There were twice as many voting stands as there was for the last presidential election, or actually, any past election that I can remember. My friend, Jody, an election official was busy-busy.
I felt scared (about the outcome) and exhilarated at the same time. I voted: colored in all the boxes with my choices on my paper ballot, then feed it into the vote-reader machine. I stuck my “I Voted” sticker on my jacket.
There were cookies and coffee in the lobby. One of my friends from the Gym (in another room in the Community Center) told me that the cookies with the M&M’s were really good. He was there with his trainer and after voting he was going to do a 45-minute workout. He’s 90.
John and I walked home eating our cookies.
I was wired, not from the cookie with the M&M’s (sugar rush), and I hadn’t had any coffee yet. I needed to be with people. “Let’s go out to breakfast,” I suggested.
So we did.
For a Tuesday morning the restaurant Toast was packed, so we sat at the counter. Most of the people wore “I Voted” stickers. I wanted to go around and hug everyone in the place.
A black man sat down two stools away. He wore his sticker and I pointed at mine and gave him a thumbs up. Then we had a good chat. His name is Mark and he’s praying for the election outcome, I showed him all my crossed fingers.
Then a young blond woman sat on the stool between Mark and me. I didn’t see a sticker, and asked if she voted.
“Not today,” she said, and my happy balloon popped.
But then she told me she had absentee voted. She’s from Portland, Oregon, and getting her Masters degree at Cranbrook.
Oregon has respect for its citizens. They make voting accessible to everyone, everyone gets mailed a ballot, and they can vote or not as they choose (they can also vote in person).
What a good idea.
But, if I voted by mail, I wouldn’t have had that cookie, and I probably wouldn’t have had such a good time chatting with nice people…Citizens of the United States of America!
PS. Want to share your voting experience? I hope it was as easy and pleasant as mine.