Yesterday, I had it all planned out. I was going to get up at 5:30 in the morning (correction – I was going to set my alarm for 5:30 and get up closer to 6). I was going to get my daughter dressed for school, because she loves to come with me whenever I go vote. I think she secretly feels like she’s voting too, because she’s in the vicinity of the booth, and other voters, and I always give her my sticker that proclaims to the world “I voted.” It’s been this ways since before she could walk, as I remember voting in the booth one year with her diapered bottom on my hip, with her chunky little legs dangling and only having one hand to use to punch the cards. Memories. But I digress.
Well, sleep tasted a little too good to me this morning, and being the anti-morning woman that I am, I didn’t get up until 7:10, internally battling whether to vote this morning and be late for work; sacrifice my lunch break and vote in the afternoon, or push through the evening fatigue and place my vote before the polls close. I resolved to make voting my lunch mission as I grabbed my voter information guide and sample ballot and headed out the door to take my daughter to school.
To be and out of my polling location as quick as possible (only two blocks from my house), at work, I filled in the sample ballot just as I would at the poll so that when I went in, no reading and decision making would have to be involved. I made up my mind about the propositions days ago, and the presidential candidate I would be voting for, long ago, so I didn’t anticipate any last minute angst.
Thirty minutes before leaving the office to cast my ballot, my mother calls me up with a tinge of excitement in her voice asking if I’ve been keeping up online of who is winning so far. She can’t see me, but I give a little smirk. No, I haven’t been keeping up, I’ve actually been working…at work. Imagine that. I do understand her enthusiasm though. She is a precinct captain for the Obama campaign and she’s trying to keep an eye on her candidate. After hanging up with her I can’t help myself, and I start looking for any results I can find without watching video coverage (because I’m where?…at work). No such luck.
I was hungrier than a wild dog, but wasn’t sure what the voting lunch crowd would be like, so I opted to poll first. When inside, I took out my driver’s license, went through the usual procedure last name, first name, signature, address… by the time I got to the booth, I realized, no one even glanced and my driver’s license. I could have been anyone, and they took me at my word that I was who I said I was. I would like to think that it’s my look of innocence and honesty that led them all to bypass the once standard procedure, but I have a smidge of doubt that this is true.
As I was using those electronic thingamajigs, remembering how easily they could be tampered with, and recognizing the pollers complete faith in me being who I say I am, I (kind of) understand how there could be such a political hail storm in Kenya with the suspicions of fixed elections. If I concentrate on this too much I’ll get dizzy and depressed so I took my two minutes to vote, collected my sticker that I’ll later hand over to my daughter, and left without my mother’s enthusiasm, but with only the satisfaction of getting it out of the way.
I was hoping that some type of excitement would kick in. It hasn’t. And with that I went home for lunch, then back to work twenty minutes later. All I can do now is hope that there are more people who feel like me than not…and wait for the results.