Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Voting Experience

Now that everyone's about to call the election for Obama, I'll go ahead with this old news.

I live and work in Boston, but vote in RI, so instead of voting absentee or early (don't even know if RI votes early) I like to take election day and actually drive to my polling place. Also, after 18 years of voting absentee, it's nice to vote in person.

I had intended to get to my polling place in Bristol at 0700 when it opened, but didn't wake up until 0600, so that went out the window. At 0630 I hopped in the car and headed south, sure that I'd be stuck in an around the corner line, like the ones that I was already hearing about on the radio.

The drive down was pleasant, as I sipped coffee and listened to NPR until I couldn't get WBUR any more, then switched to WEEI sports radio.

I did not go to my usual polling place - my usual spot was closed, but the new place (a local school) was easy to find. A bit of frustration with some roadwork blocking the access from the main road, but it was really a minor setback. There was a small but steady stream of people coming in, and only 5 or 6 people ahead of me in the line. As in the primaries, the "A-D" line was the longest, with almost nobody going into the other lines.

Still, it was a matter of a few minutes before I got my ballot. Interestingly, I did not need to show ID to get it, but I did have to verify my address...while the poll worker was holding open the voter registry with my address on it right in front of me. I guess if someone really wanted to and knew who I was and where I polled they could steal my vote, but it seems pretty unlikely. Still, I would have felt more comfortable if they had asked for an ID.

My ballot was a "broken arrow" design just like the West Palm Beach ballot. But since I read the instructions, I knew what to do and voted correctly. No x's, no circles, and no sympathy for people who can't be bothered to read and figure out a ballot.

I don't remember what voter I was. They had "I Voted" stickers, but I forgot to take one. I went about my business and headed to Newport. Unfortunately, I had to return to Boston early and was unable to meet my cousin James for lunch.

CNN has just called for Obama. America chose well. It was not easy for me - it hurt some. I needed to break with a party that I identified with for almost my entire adult life, and my vote was very much against them and a "base" that no longer defines me, as a center-right person. I think a worthy candidate had to "sell his soul" to them to have a shot at leading this country, and because of that I could not trust his administration. I only hope they can re-invent themselves and become a reasonable second party some day.

Whatever, I'm too distracted now to write much more.


Dr. Momentum said...

I'm ready for all the hype to go away and to see some leadership. Word is that Powell is being considered for Secretary of Education. I know his experience lies elsewhere, but what a way to signal that you're serious about fixing education in this country.

Stickthulhu said...

The hype is okay - some people need it - but I'm with you, I want to move out and get things done. It's going to take a long time, so the sooner we get going...

I think Powell would be a great Secretary of Education. I know he has said he would have to think long and hard about a cabinet position, but I really want him to step up and lead. I had thought SECDEF, but I also understand Obama may be asking Gates to stay on. That's a good thing; Gates has been hollering about the "militarization" of US foreign policy and the need for more "soft power" organizations, like rebuilding the Agency for International Development.

Dawn on MDI said...

First, sir, thank you for your service. And thank you for being open-minded enough to vote for the new guy and not rely on the safety of the familiar. You are a hero.

Stickthulhu said...

You're welcome Dawn, and thanks for commenting. Hope you stick around and read more of my random musings.