Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the Vote, DC!

Getting cranky/
Need a spanky
"Don't Touch My Bikini" -- The Halo Benders

Just a little bit past the two-hour point of the voting process The Halo Benders came on just in time to remind me that I was indeed getting cranky. And no, thank you, I didn't need a spanky. I would have liked to dole a few out to the poll workers though. Holy Christ. I'm down with the vote. I've never missed the chance to hit the polls and put on my sticker. I got a degree in Poli Sci. I interned for a senator. I understand bicameral legislature. I went to the bars to watch the debates because that's what you're supposed to do in DC. I get it. Then why can't the people who run the polls get their act together and make the whole thing a bit easier and a bit faster? This was the longest I've ever waited in line to vote for anything. I've also never seen lines like this aside from waiting for concert tickets.

I arrived at my appointed polling station on M St. at 8:15am or so. I was feeling pessimistic because of the news reports, but knew I had to do my civic duty. I walked down M St. and saw the line that awaited me. I passed the church and kept walking, then made a left onto 15th St., and kept walking. I finally stopped a few feet from L St. Not a good sign. Luckily, the temperature was pretty decent, I had tunes, a newspaper, some homework, and a cup of coffee. The line didn't move much but I just kept reading. I felt accomplished when I made my way back to M St. Finally around 9:15, I entered the church and noticed my friends Doug and Gretchen walking out. Odd, I thought, considering they were behind me in line. Apparently, the people with last names in the middle of the alphabet were pulled out of line because the line inside was empty for those letters. Cursed by my name! Bugger. Oh well. I figured, "I'm in now. How bad can it be." Well, the A-B line was 2nd longest, only beat by the S-T. So I waited and waited. The hour was nearing 10:00 and my feet were tired, my bladder was getting full, and I was hungry.

After finally getting checked in at the alphabet desk (took over 20 minutes), I got to get into the next line to wait for a ballot. That took a bit over 15 minutes. Then I finally got to get into another line to wait for a kiosk where I could fill in my ballot. DC uses a paper ballot where you connect a broken arrow with a pencil to indicate your choice. Of course they were out of "privacy folders" when I received my ballot, so I had to wait a few minutes for those too. The girl in front of me was getting a little lippy with the lady behind the table. "This early on Election Day and you're already running out of stuff?????? Not a good sign." I agree. Next, I filled out my ballot and then got into yet another line to submit it into the tally machine. There were two machines. One was broken. A tech showed up as I was standing in that line. Finally, success! My ballot was inserted and I received my sticker. I then walked out looking as miserable as everyone else I saw. Yay democracy.

So, overall yes, it's great to vote. You should all vote. We need to do that brand of business. I voted; therefore, I have the right to post this blog bitching about election day. If I hadn't voted, I'd have no right to bitch. The process was just too slow. The flow of traffic was a giant cluster eff. Plus, what was with all the people taking pictures??? Do you really need to document how long the line is for posterity? The media was getting on my nerves too because they kept pushing through the church to get shots of the crowd. Not sure what stations the media were from, but I'm guessing it was nothing you'll likely see, unless you watch the Kazakh Broadcasting Channel. Or ZNN (Zimbabwean News Network).

OK, after class I'm heading to the DCCC election party. Cuz nothing says HAPPY ELECTION DAY than a bunch of drunk politicos waving little flags and drinking free booze ;) Actually, I went last year, or whenever Nancy Pelosi took charge and it was solid event. I remember being on stage waving one of those little flags. We'll see how tonight goes. I have a feeling the celebration will be even stronger.


1 comment:

Christine said...

I enjoyed the "secrecy" folder. I voted at M Street as well - I got there at 7:30 - was pulled from the line for having a last name in the I-L range and was done at 8:15. There definitely should be a better system for corralling people early into their alpha lines.