i’m talking to strangers?! what?! why?! here, read this.
i gave my address and name to the first poll worker (pw#1). he directed me to the second, as that guy (pw #2) had the list containing all residents of my street who were registered to vote. once i was cleared, he directed me to the curtained cubicles where i’d go to fill in my ballot. i filled in the bubbles carefully, so each one counted. then i headed to the next set of tables.
pw #3: oh, we’ve got a surprise for you.
pw #3: just a minute. first, what’s your address, honey?
me: *gives address*
pw #3: oh, she’ll take care of you. *points to adjacent poll worker*
pw #4: what’s your name?
me: *spells it for her*
pw #4: *searches for name*
pw #3: that’s a beautiful necklace.
me: oh, thank you!
another voter finished and walked over to the table where pw #3 marked her off the list.
me: *wonders what’s taking so long* *notices pw #4 is looking under the wrong street address* *points out mistake*
meanwhile, pw #3 cleared the other voter and she went to the machine (right next to me) to turn in her ballot. as her ballot was sucked into the machine, pw #5 declared: you’re the 1000th voter!
me: *thinks to self: aww, man. that was supposed to be MY surprise.*
pw#3 finally found my name and i stepped over to the machine to submit my ballot.
me: does it matter what way?
pw #5: nope. just stick it in.
me: *giggles to self*
pw #5: you’re the 1001st voter. you were too slow to be 1000.
me: oh, but, *refrains from pointing out pw#4’s slow movements* yes, well, 1001 is still cool. do i get a sticker?
pw #5: we ran out of those three voters ago. sorry.
no, 1000st voter award. no “i voted” sticker, but i still left the place grinning. for me, there was (and always is) something so grand about the physical act of voting. i felt equal, powerful, important.
i took my 1001 and left grateful to have the opportunity to exercise my constitutional right to “boat” (as my niece baby mac calls it).