The Tragic Optimist


Voter #633 at my polling place, ballot cast at 9:30 am.

Chris went shortly after the polls open and found a long line, but our polling place is pretty efficient and he got through quickly.  We had a conference for Hazel this morning (she’s all good), and I went after that and found no line to get in.  There was however, a line to put your ballot in to the ballot reader.

In Minnesota, our ballots are paper, machine-read ballots.  You mark your choice by filling in a bubble.  You can choose to go to a booth, or just sit at a table and make your votes.  There’s something about filling in a bubble on multiple choice questions, the scantron paper, sitting at these long tables, with a flimsy paper folder for privacy, that takes me right back to elementary school and standardized testing.  I feel guilty when I pull out my paper where I wrote the names of the down ballot people I wanted to elect (judges and soil and water conservation board elections).  Like somehow I’m cheating.

Everyone in the room is very Minnesota nice.  People are pleasant, and even put up with the long line to enter your ballot with good humor.  The election judges are helpful, and nice, and fair – they’re pretty much democracy super heroes in my mind.

I hope that everyone who reads this will vote, or has already voted, if they’re eligible!  I won’t go all dramatic on you, but these things matter.  Your vote matters.

For those in Minnesota, I voted No on both amendments (marriage amendment and voter id), and I do hope that you will, too.  I believe that two people who love each other and are willing to make a commitment to becoming a family deserve to be celebrated and supported and protected, regardless of their sex.  And I believe that there are already too many barriers to voting, as evidenced by the poor turnout at many elections.  Minnesota has had very high profile recounts recently where votes were closely scrutinized, looking for fraud.  There was no fraud that would have been prevented by a voter id restriction.  But there are cases where eligible voters would be turned away at the polls due to not having a valid id.

1 Comment

  1. Grammy and Pop-Pop

    We voted mid-day, no line in IL

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