These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

voting procedure

i was hesitant to vote this morning. i neglected to do an absentee ballot, then thought i just wouldn't vote.

it wasn't for lack of not wanting to vote. itwas a vision thing. my past creeps up on me at times and i hesitate, sometimes freeze, instead of moving forward.

dawn is working until 3:30 and i have to go in late today (4 p.m. for the late night of election night), so i figured i probably wouldn't get to vote. she urged me to anyway. later, i said i'd get up early and go. after all, the voting location for our precinct and ward is st. francis - nary a block away.

so i woke on time ad headed out there. i read my paper, so i knew that between 9 and 10 a.m. is an ideal time to vote since most people are at work.

sure enough. few cars lined the church's parking lot. i walked into the foyer with no hesitation. it was all neatly set up in teh foyer area.

first i had to sign some paper, put down name, date of birth, address and sign name. i had to do this before moving forward. as i went to the next station, where i showed my ID and the paper i'd filled out, i mentioned i was legally blind and asked for assistance.

the woman was very helpful. asked if i had anyone to help me fill out the ballot or if i wanted to do an audio ballot, where i'd put on earphones and listen to the ballot to help me out. i opted for the help, but said i had no one. in taht case the workers would help me out. i had to have a repubican and democrat present while i was helped. i was taken aside into one of the makeshift booths and read the ballot by one of the women. the other watched.

it was then put in a folder, taken to another table, made sure it was good, a strip along the bottom removed, then the ballot was taken to a box, where it slid in. i was done. i was number 234. i wonder if that's a good number for that time of the morning for the ward?

i felt good about voting. i neglected to vote in teh 2004 presidential election (i can't remember why), but i figured i might as well do it.

i also felt good because i helped a spanish-speaking man behind me. while i was filling out the slip of paper with my name and date of birth, he was having trouble and the woman didn't speak spanish. by the time she got an individual who spoke spanish, i'd helped him out by telling him what kind of information was requested. he was an older man. it was good to see an older latino man out there voting. i hope more, many more go out and do it today.