I went to early vote yesterday. I did this for many reasons, but mostly because I have been going to work an hour earlier than the office start time due to a heavy workload. So I didn’t want to spend the time Tuesday to wait in line at the polls and be “late” to work.
Where I live in Southern California the closest early voting place was about ten miles away, and served most of the San Fernando Valley. I thought I would go there, breeze in, vote, and breeze out. After all, most elections have low turnout and it’s a cinch to get in and out.
My first clue that that may not be the case was when I got to parking and found that the lot designated to early voting parking was almost full. I still didn’t think there would be a problem…until I looked to the path to the library and saw at least a hundred people in front of me. Wowee! All these people here to early vote! My pride swelled for all these dedicated people, all voting early for a number of reasons, patiently (or sometimes impatiently) waiting in line to cast their ballot.
The line did not move quickly. All of us were from different areas of the Valley and would have gone to different precincts on voting day that had the same number of voting booths as this place had. Still, we stuck it out. All in all it took about an hour and a half from the time I got in line to the time I emerged with my “I Voted” sticker in hand. When I got out the line was even longer. Yay!
I don’t know what this means for the future of voting or even what it means for Tuesday. I do know that I appreciated being able to cast my ballot on a weekend when I am not pressed for time. I know you can mail in your ballot but I’m always a bit uneasy about trusting the mail system to my precious vote. It’s too critical that I cast my ballot and have it count. I have plenty of friends who do that and they are fine with the process but it makes me nervous. This chance to wait in line to do what I would otherwise have to do Tuesday, was glorious. I want to do this every year.
I hope that everyone who didn’t either have the opportunity to early vote or is waiting until Tuesday gets out there and votes.