Early voting began last Saturday in my home county at noon. My Wife Rose and I were there by noon and we didn’t get home until 2:39 P.M. Two hours on line in the freezing cold and I feel great about it, although, we haven't warmed up yet. Rose is promising hot soup for dinner.
We wanted to vote early because we are afraid that an attempt is going to be made to tie up some of the election results in court unnecessarily because one of the candidates has already pretty much threatened to do that and actually does have a long history of using courts as a weapon in his personal dealings to hurt or discourage anyone who gets in his way. We wanted to make sure our votes get counted and we felt that in order to accomplish that, it would be good to vote in person as early as possible.
It was kind of like going to see Star Wars back when blockbusters really meant a line around the block or in this case several blocks. It was in sort of a stupid location. The school gym where I normally vote could have accommodated many more people actually voting at a time and at a safe distance and given the fact that schooling is still being done from home here at the moment, it was available.
It was great for people watching even with masks, in fact some of the masks were kind of cool. Cars were driving by honking in support, some with funny signs that drew laughs from most of the crowd.
Most people didn't let on who they were voting for, a sizable minority was obviously there for Biden. Only one guy was obviously a Trump guy, you know, the one guy in the whole line without a mask. At one point somebody said something about Biden to him and he said "not in my life time" which was ironic being that he is more at risk of dying painfully on a ventilator than anyone else there given his masklessness and his age.
There was one incident when a really upset teenaged girl tried to steal the only Trump sign. The people in line closest to the sign stopped her, they seemed pro Biden but didn't want the process sullied or the girl herself to face a fine of thousands of dollars. Of course, Mr. No Mask flew across the area in a booming voice that seemed to shake the ground and nearby windows, demanding that the sign be put back, causing a scene when, the situation had already pretty much been resolved exactly the way he wanted but, you know, while there may have been many Trump supporters in the crowd who weren’t displaying their choice for all to see, you could have put money on the fact that the one guy without a mask would also be the loudest guy there and the most likely to cause a scene when, there was really nothing left to cause a scene about. He never stopped talking the entire time we were in line.
There was a chocolate store across the street. Rose had a coupon and she wanted to stop afterwards to buy some Turtles. My favorite breakfast restaurant was also across the street and I spent a lot of time wishing I were eating a huge omelet and sucking back piping hot coffee but Rose and I are not ready to eat in Restaurants again and I’ve been unemployed since March. Rose is particularly high risk for COVID (another reason to be annoyed at Mr. No mask) but even if I couldn’t go get breakfast, I was happy just to daydream about it while exercising my right and responsibility as a citizen.
Also, I wasn't sure who to vote for, for state Senator. I hate the guy who is going to win just because of district partisan politics and because he's got all the money. The opposition candidate is young and has so little money that he didn’t successfully get himself out there on TV, radio, in the mail or over the phone. I've never heard his name or his positions, but he was working the line and answered questions that I had so, I felt like I could vote for him upon receiving the answers I wanted to hear, without having to tell him what I wanted to hear. The County Executive also popped by and asked how we were all doing even though he isn't on the ballet. Last time I saw him on the ballet it was as a delegate for Warren. I said out loud that he is better looking in person than on TV, even with a mask. The older woman behind me giggled and said she thought so too. If I had said that about a woman candidate I might have been in trouble.
There were three judges running on all party lines, unopposed. I instead voted for Rose, a good friend and myself for those judgeships. I don’t like it when candidates run unopposed. In the first presidential election, John Adams ran against George Washington. John Adams actually supported George Washington and told everyone so but, he was asked to run so that the General wouldn’t be running unopposed and Mr. Adams agreed that a candidate running unopposed was a bad thing even if that candidate was George Washington.
All the scene really needed was a steel drum band, a bar and a hot dog stand and it would have been a fine afternoon. Political tension or not, a less than perfect situation or not, I still take profound pleasure from casting my vote.