Today I was very political– rather than sitting here bitching about everything that’s wrong in the USA, and how I could fix it if only I were dictator for one year– ONE YEAR, that’s all I ask!!– I roused myself on my day off and went and voted early.
I had to go to the Seminole County Library up in Casselberry, not too far away, really, and since it was only eleven in the morning I figured it would be peaceful. WRONG! There were dozens and dozens of people lined up, all of us intent on performing our civic duties, many of us clutching the sample ballots we’d received in the mail.
I tell you, all races, sexes, and genders were represented in that line. It was good to see a little bit of them and a little bit of us and a little bit of everybody else, all smiling and chatting and passing the time of day as we wended our way past the carts filled with books for sale. Nobody talked about politics, which was a good thing, considering the tinderbox conditions of the current political climate. I and an older lady in front of me poked through some boxes of old LPs, oohing and ahhing over Paul Anka. I wondered aloud if any Connie Francis albums might be unearthed but then there was a sudden surge forward and we all had to move along.
A man kept appearing and telling us where the restrooms were, and I realized why– the average age of the people in line was probably sixty-five. At fifty-two, I felt positively flush with youth!
In the actual voting room, things went smoothly, though some confusion reigned. As early voters, we had to fill out a green slip of paper before we got on line, which enabled the poll workers to easily look up our names on a database. Some of the shorter and more stooped among us must have been overlooked, because I noticed a few people arriving at the tables without paperwork. I heard cries of dismay: “But I put it right here in my pockabook!” “I musta gone back and put it in my car!” “Can I still vote? Is there trouble?” I didn’t see anyone escorted to the dreaded back room due to voter fraud, so I assume everything went well, though that’s one paddy wagon I would love to be a fly on the wall of!
The altruistic side of me is privileged to have been able to take part in such a democratic exercise, yet the practical side is relieved that I don’t have to stand on line come November 4th. Still, it’s exciting being a voter in Florida because you don’t know what will happen– there’s no guarantee that the democratic process will be honored by the men and women in power, as witnessed by that mischievous little gnat over in Sarasota. And in four years we get to do it all again!