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Life Arts    H3'ed 11/3/20

I Voted!

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7 am in the morning in Bellwether, PA
7 am in the morning in Bellwether, PA
(Image by Marta Steele)
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Voting this morning at 7 am was chilling. Weather 43 degrees, how close to freezing really, joined the line at 6:10. My suburban neighborhood has a polls right on the property, so I'd opted to vote in person rather than by mail, this being the most swinging state of them all, Pennsylvania.

About the fifth person to turn up, I surveyed the signage and saw TRUMP PENCE and other GOP signs and two for Howie Hayes, the unprepossessing Democratic candidate for the state legislature. When The Democrat pulled up carrying signs, all I could see was BI HA among the poster items he carried under his arm, and they remained hidden. Why? None pitched into the ground in merry competition.

It was dawn and lines were already forming.
It was dawn and lines were already forming.
(Image by Marta Steele)
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No Biden-Harris signs. Chicken blue. He stood out from the others, medium height, dark hair, amiable, effective. When he emerged a few minutes later from the club house to inform us of problems with the machinery, my heart sank. I pictured driving for half an hour to one of the myriad strip-mall ridden highways to use the drop box, one of three in this county, bellwether Bucks.We weren't allowed to have more, that ruling originating with Il Duce himself. How hard it had been to find that drop box during the primaries. What an inhospitable environment it was. I guess I look like a Democrat too. No friendly small talk and the only bathrooms were port-a-potties.

Well, the problem with the stick drive that wouldn't find recognition was resolved. Oh, what a relief.

Meanwhile the line behind me was a snake of at least fifty people, and more by the time I left. Good thing I jumped out of bed at 5:30 instead of dismissing my precinct as jerkwater that would attract a few stragglers.

Ahead of me, fourth in line, stood a 60-something wearing a red, white, and blue "USA" baseball cap. Someone distributed small slips of papers reserved for Republican voters. Everyone around me in line took one. I didn't. But at least there was no violence. The enemy behaved himself within footsteps of Philadelphia. This part of Bucks County is so "lower Bucks" that you can walk there from here. It's one of the last stops both candidates made to campaign. Bellwether Bucks, battleground Bucks.

I had feared violence as a straggler and lone woman waiting alone at 6 am to vote.

The violence was the realization that for the first time in my life, I stood in line at the polls among Republicans. And not just any Republicans, for I went to high school with lots of them (conservative chic), but Trump Republicans. How can they possibly want that guy back? I wondered. What have they gained from the last four years? Machismo. Diseased machismo is the latest reaction of the MSM grappling to explain his appeal.

Most wore masks and kept their social distance. That was civilized. Except for the guy in the USA baseball cap in front of me.

We were on the banks of the Delaware, scenic but windy and chilly. I photoed that as well as the long line that envied me exiting so quickly.

The ladies running the event were middled aged. Covid prefers other milieux than the white burbs.

I received my "I voted" sticker along with my ballot. Thanks to labors of veterans of the Bucks County Coalition for Voting Integrity, with whom I worked for years, and SAVE Bucks Votes, we voted on optical scanners, neither ES&S nor Dominion but Clear Ballot.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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