A Tale of Two Ballots

 

I live in Ohio, so apparently my vote is worth its weight in gold. It’s an incredibly different experience being a voter here as opposed to what I’m used to in Maine. Every medium is saturated with political ads. At least a half a dozen people have stopped by randomly, going door to door making sure we’re registered and know the location of our polling place.

We stay up late the night before, researching state supreme court judges, which organizations are endorsing the candidates, what they have to say about special interest contributions.

We’re up at 6 sharp. Skyspook showers. I slap myself a few times in the face to stay conscious while I tend to my imaginary restaurant on Facebook. We walk to our polling place, an elementary school with a decent line already waiting at the door. It’s 6:25. “You always take me on the best dates,” I tell Skyspook.

I hear a man behind me shivering in the morning chill and am thankful for all the winter mornings I spent waiting for the school bus as a kid.

A lady touches my arm. “Excuse me.”

“Yes?”

“Your shoelace is untied,” she says.

“Oh. Thank you,” I say. I figure it’ll be a while before I move, and even then, I know we’ll be shuffling along at a snail’s pace, so I make a mental note to tie it when I get a chance.

“I didn’t mean anything. I was just trying to be helpful,” the lady says (to whom, I’m not sure).  “If it were me, I’d break my neck.”

I bend over and tie my shoes just to make her stop.

The doors open, and we’re at the polls.

They’ve only just opened, and already the volunteers are overwhelmed, yet to find their rhythm, coalesce into any semblance of a team.

The voting booths are rickety, but it’s fun to watch the machine swallow the ballots like a greedy little robot.

We get back to the house, and he kisses me before heading off to work. “Voting dates are the best dates!” I call after him. “Let’s do it again!”

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