I voted today, and the experience taught me something very important about myself. I’ll explain:
I arrived at the polls at 7:30am. There wasn’t much of a line, and I quickly moved to present my drivers license. My address on yge licrense isnt up-to-date (thank you DMV), so they told me, “No problem, you can still cast a provisional ballot.”
As I waited in that next short line I began to get nervous. Would my vote count? They were handwriting information about each voter, and what if there was an error? So I left the polling center, went to my car and retrieved my car insurance and registration. Returning to the sign-in, they then noticed I had received an early ballot and again directed me to the provisional balloting line.
I took another look at the carbon copy registration sheets and with my anxiety mounting, returned home and dug my ballot out of the trash. To this point I hadn’t given my early ballot much thought as my wife had ordered it for me. I procrastinated voting by mail and missed the deadline. Now I know why. I want my vote to count. And not just a little bit. I really want my vote to count, and there’s something about watching your vote go into the counting machine that’s comforting. It’s an acknowledgement that my vote has been counted.
Today, I didn’t get that satisfaction. Returning for the third time to my polling location, I was directed to drop my ballot in a bin to be counted later. I’m sure it will be, but I really wanted it counted now.
This is the first, and it will be my last attempt at mail-in or early voting. If (or should I say when) we progress to online voting that won’t scare me. But until then I’m going old school.
And funny enough, when I arrived at Starbucks this morning for my free coffee, a neighbor and I shared consenting sentiments, as she too had voted early by mail, and very much missed her trip to the polls.
What about you? Does early voting scare you? Or are you confident it works flawlessly?