This is the first year that my state has had early voting, and I decided to take advantage of it. I think the lines will be crazy on Election Day (although the people I was waiting in line with yesterday joked that we’re probably the suckers for waiting in these long early voting lines – everyone will end up voting early and there won’t be any lines next Tuesday).
I actually ended up waiting in TWO LONG LINES to vote. See, Christian and I say we are from “The City” where we both grew up, but five years ago we moved 1.5 miles north of “The City” and now we live in “The Suburb.” “The Suburb” is in a different county than “The City.” I asked around, and had “confirmation” from three different sources that I could still vote at the polling place in “The City.” Since my mom still lives in “The City,” we decided to schlep the three kids to “The City” polling place and vote together.
After having to park a half a mile away (literally – I’m not exaggerating) from the polling place, pushing almost 130 lbs. of stroller and children (the stroller is 40 lbs., Noah is 38 lbs., Zoe is 23 lbs., Colin is 16 lbs., Colin’s infant car seat is 10 lbs., and I’m sure the diaper bag weighs a few lbs.), and waiting in line for an hour and 20 minutes, it turns out that I cannot, indeed, vote in “The City.”
My mom was at least able to vote though, so all was not lost. The kids did really well during the wait, too. Zoe is taking her civic duties seriously already. A man came through the line offering information about a candidate, and Zoe held her hand out for a flyer. Even better, the flyer was for a female Democratic candidate. Now that’s my girl! (Zoe, not the female Democratic candidate. I actually know nothing about this particular candidate since she is a candidate in “The City” and not “The Suburb.”)
A very nice woman in line with me thanked me for voting. She said she was very impressed that I took the responsibility of voting seriously enough that I would come out even when I had to manage three young children while doing so. I thought that was very sweet of her. And she didn’t even know the half of it…
Anyway, not to be deterred by my failed voting attempt, we drove to the government building in the county of “The Suburb.” I hoped the line would be shorter, but it was also an hour. The kids fell asleep on the way up there, so while I waited in ANOTHER LONG LINE, my mom drove around for a while and then took them for lunch at McDonald’s.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see if my vote “counts.” My state has only voted for one Democratic presidential candidate since the 1940s (and there aren’t even Democratic candidates running in many of “The Suburb’s” local races), but has been recently labeled a swing state in this year’s presidential election. The latest polls have McCain and Obama in a dead heat. I would be THRILLED if my vote helped swing it for Obama, especially since I had to work so hard for it!