As I was growing up, my dad used to say, “Women shouldn’t drive or vote.” Recently I confronted my dad about this, and he avers that he said it in jest. Still, you can imagine how I feel about driving and voting.
For years, I have voted in a house across the street from the John Muir High School football field. The actual location bounces between the living room and the garage. This time, it was the living room. The experience of voting is a little different when the eyes of children are staring at you from family pictures.
I arrive, state my name and address, and place my obligatory John Hancock in the big book. The check-in people yell over to the ballot-distributer people “Democrat!” I was taken aback by the loud proclamation of my party affiliation in a relatively small space. People in the voting booths actually turned around to look. I was given a ballot and headed to the booth.
I was all ready to light up for that ever-satisfying post-votal cigarette (and I don’t even smoke) when I noticed I’d been given a Republican ballot. I was surprised since the check-in guy had proclaimed my affiliation with such gusto. No harm, no foul…I caught the error before it was too late. That ballot was invalidated, and I was given the correct ballot.
In the meantime, the (3 Dem) booths filled up, so I had to wait. No bigee. I was happy that people were there. Year after year, I see those big pages being turned to find my name, and page after page is empty of signatures. If I vote late in the day, this observation is particularly wrenching.
Correct ballot in hand, I voted again, thinking how different life would be if Dennis Kucinich had all of Mitt Romney’s dough and a quarter of his looks. My task complete, I head over to the ballot collector (the check-in guy with the big voice). They used to have a folder that you put your ballot in before putting in the slot on top of the box. A nice little privacy folder. Not this time. I could see that I was supposed to feed my ballot into an electronic device on top of the box. So I’m standing there thinking, “I wonder which way it is supposed to go?”
Seeing my confusion, Mr. Collector took my ballot for me. He cast his eyes onto my black dots (especially those on the left side of the ballot) then fed my ballot into the machine.
Women are well-trained to see where mens’ eyes go. It was so obvious to me that this guy wanted to see how I voted. So not only does this guy know my name and address, he thinks he knows, or may even know, who I voted for.
I was a little shaken up by this, and as I left I started to think about the other ballot that was invalidated. I saw the poll worker write something on the top of it, but what happened to it after that? Did it get the once over by Mr. Nosy? Where did that ballot go?
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Graffiti update: Everything was painted over.
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Link to a previous election day story from the same house.