Well, I’m riding in on the late train, as Brenda & I hit the polls this morning. Compared to all the media coverage given to the bullying tactics of the right, and the warnings to bring plenty of ID and carry the voter fraud whistleblower’s hotline number—sound strategies in a lot of districts I’m sure—our experience was nearly laughable. I should have known, since we live in an area full of H1 visa holders. Many of my neighbors are simply not eligible to vote. And so when we arrived at the polls at 8AM this morning, voters were outnumbered by voting assistants. It was eerie. “Where’s the furor? where’s the passion?” Certainly not at Indiana Avenue Elementary School. I only hope that they see their fair share of eligible voters this year. Which, of course means 55% if we have a great turnout, which is pathetic.
The annoying thing was that we needed to provide no ID to vote; I assume because we had our voter registration mailers with us informing us of our polling location, they figured we were legit. I just gave my name—which of course was the only guglielmetti in the book—and I signed a book which had a scan of my signature from my voter change of address form I sent in. Then I signed one other book, from which a tear-off receipt was handed to me, then I stepped eight feet to the voting machine and handed that receipt to another worker, and then I was ushered into the voting booth to do my business. It was like standing in line to buy tickets at a carnival, and then getting in an identical line to use the tickets to purchase a hot dog. Given the way these political campaigns go, I suppose the carnival atmosphere was all part of the theme. Well done!
We used electronic voting machines for the first time this year too. Brenda went first; when she came out she said she misses the mechanical ka-chunk of the old levers. I asked: “are they Mac or PC?” Oh how I laughed. “Hey, my voting machine just crashed!” I mused, while my wife stared at me blankly. The poll workers had similar odd stares for me, for looking so animated at eight in the morning. Indiana Avenue Elementary’s Gymnasium is a tough room.
I have a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. It feels like I’m being watched. And I am. We are. The whole world is watching this one.