It all began when I happily was registered to vote while waiting in a very crowded, fluorescent-lighted, linoleum-floored roomful of people seeking driver's licenses. People were chatting to pass the time while waiting for their numbers to be called, summoning them to one of about six different windows. How bored those workers must be, I thought, but how glad to be employed at a secure full-time job with the government. I hope they're still there.
They were patient and treated us with good humor. I flunked my eye test so had to go out to a local strip-mall clinic to be tested again and this time passed, all in time to return the data to the man who had tested me. He offered no further obstructions, even ignoring the fact that I hadn't brought along enough evidence that I lived where I lived.
As I said, I was happy to be reminded to register to vote. I know that I look like a liberal.
Then I applied for an absentee ballot about a month later and then applied again, having forgotten that I'd done it once. Moving long-distance is a mind-blower and details scatter everywhere. I was gently reminded that I'd already applied for a ballot. They did not accuse me of attempted voter fraud.
So where was my ballot? I went online and found that it had been mailed out May 6. Around May 22, I phoned the SoS's office to ask where my ballot had gone and they said, "Oh, my" and that they'd mail me another straightaway.
So a ballot turned up a few days later and I opened it and found that the return envelope was glued to it, so patiently tried to steam them apart and it almost worked. I filled out the ballot but it still had a few patches of paper stuck to it. Would the scanner accept it? If not, would they call me? But it would be too late probably. Election Day was less than a week away.
It occurred to me later that since I Lysol all of my mail, perhaps it was my fault that the ballot and return envelope were stuck together. So I was much more careful when the second ballot showed up a few days later. I carefully shredded the damaged one and even more carefully filled out the new one.
The instructions were unclear because not listed sequentially. They appeared in two different sections of the enclosed materials. I think I did everything right but oh, there are only three places in the entire county where I could take the ballot since it was too late to mail it, less than a week away from Tuesday, June 2, primary day.
There are plenty of polls locations for Election Day, including on the property where I live, an apartment complex, but who wants to risk covid19, though I risked it today even worse. How? By having to use a port-a-potty. But wait.
First I got into my car with the ballot in hand and programmed my GPS with the address of the polling place closest to me, about eight miles away. It was located on a well-traveled road, so I thought, so the address read. Traffic was heavy this sunny Sunday and I would have to turn left into it and drivers aren't too nice around here.
But then my GPS got lost, leading me to several legal U-turns in people's driveways on side streets. Legal? Finally I bit the bullet and pulled off, to my left, onto a deserted road and followed it. The GPS tried valiantly to direct me but honestly didn't know where it was. I arrived at a small building with people grouped around in chairs. Somehow they struck me as Trumpsters but I didn't ask that, only where I could vote. One man, mask-less but keeping a respectful social distance, pointed me toward a large parking lot flanked by two boring brick rectangles. There were no signs "Vote Here!" or children dressed in red, white, and blue milling about. I pulled in and parked. Maybe two or three others were there for the same reason I was, but plenty of empty parking spaces. I saw the sheriff's building and two officers standing around chatting, so I walked to the door. They said no, not there. Here's where to vote. A small depressing deposit box, well aged from serving some purpose, accepted my sealed ballot. Meanwhile I'd been driving around haphazardly and upset for half an hour, especially at the thought that the drive to the next-closest polls would last at least 45 minutes. So I asked for a lady's room and was given two alternatives: the fire station across the road or the port-a-potties. So I opted for the latter and wondered about the hygienics but life is risky always, isn't it?
I was going to vote and I voted. No "I Voted" stickers today. Only people guardedly friendly, probably Trumpsters who suspected a Bernie-Dem. Would they settle for Biden in November? They all had access to arms of various sorts.
But that's off the subject. I drove home in triumph, having voted. Wouldn't you think, wouldn't you think that in the throes of a pandemic and with people being urged to maintain social distancing, that there'd be more than three places in a county of 628,000 all tolled, sprawling over 622 square miles of land and water, that there'd be more than three drop-off locations, at least one of them undiscoverable by GPS, even Google Maps?
(Google Maps gives instructions according to East, West, North, and South, so as someone totally lacking a sense of direction, I reverted to my older GPS, which speaks in terms of right and left turns.)
I voted: for Bernie's platform to have more influence on Joe's in November, and for eight Bernie delegates. Hell and high water didn't keep me away, though they tried to.