Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Did You Vote Today?

For those of my readers who are in the United States, I have a question for you.
Did you vote today?

If not, and if your polls are still open, I implore you to run out there and get on line.

I don't care what your politics are.  I don't care if you think "they are all corrupt and it doesn't make a difference who gets in."

Well, it does make a difference, and not just for your particular races, but for the country as a whole.

Think about turnout in other countries, such as countries where people risk their lives, literally, in order to vote.  And, yet, they turn out.  To them, the vote is that important.

All many of us have to do is endure some discomfort.

If you don't vote, you don't get to complain afterwards.  How's that?

So go out and fill out that ballot before it is too late.

Speaking of discomfort, I was reminded of an election day in 2010 when I voted....

On Crutches and on Facebook 

Here's my post from Election Day, 2010.
 
I had a chance today to test out handicapped voting.  Unintentionally.

On the way to work this morning, I managed to sprain my ankle.  At this hour of blogging my ankle is taped up and I am icing it.  I'm using a clamshell support and walking with crutches. The last time I had to walk with crutches, I was 10 years old.  Lucky me.  At least I can put some weight on the foot.  Thank heavens, I can't complain.

So getting to the polling place, usually a pleasant walk from my house, suddenly turned into a logistical planning session.

Now, in saying this, I am well aware there are people who do this kind of thing each and every day, some of them doing it every day of my lives.  So I don't want to make a big deal out of this (as in "pity me!"-DON'T) but I wanted to tell you about my experience.   It's sobering in a way, because the tiny bit of trouble I went to due to my sprain is nothing compared to what people in some countries have to go through, including putting their lives at risk.


Spouse drove me, crutches in the back seat.

First obstacle:  the curb.  I haven't quite gotten the hang of going up stairs with my crutches, so I had to remember the mantra:  Good leg up, bad leg down.  In other words you lead with the good leg going up, and  the bad leg going down.  I got up the curb and slowly made my way to the front door.  So far, so good, except that my formerly fast walk has turned into a slow, deliberate crawl.

Spouse was good enough to hold the door.  At least in this point of my life I'm not as self conscious so I didn't expect, or care, if people stared at me.

I was fortunate that I only had to wait a couple of minutes.  I balanced on the crutches to sign the book you have to sign in New York State before you are allowed to vote.

Until last year, we had lever voting machines.  Now, we've joined the electronic age, but with paper ballots.  So I somehow, while grasping my crutches, transported a long paper ballot, the special marking pen, and the privacy screen, to the corral where you do your marking.

The poll worker asked "would it be easier for you to sit?"  I told him, yes.

So I got to see how the "handicapped" corral function worked.  A part of the corral swings up and locks, and you can push a wheelchair under the table part.  The worker then got a chair for me.  I sat, marked my ballot, inserted it into the privacy sleeve, then got up, then carried (grasping my crutches at the same time) the ballot and the pen to the scanning machine.  Thankfully, the scanning worked the first time. Then, reversing the process, spouse held the door, I went out to the parking lot, hurt my foot stepping off the curb because I haven't mastered "down" yet, hobbled into the car, and from there, home.

The neat part was yet to come.

When I signed onto Facebook there was a large "I voted" button Facebook asked members to click if they had voted.  I did so and I got to see which of my Facebook friends had already voted.  Some of them live in early voting states and at least one had voted early.   If I could have seen into the future, and if NY permitted, I would have voted early too.  But it was a good effort.  And I am glad to report that I had a good number of voting friends.

And, I hope you voted too.

6 comments:

  1. I had never thought about how difficult it could be to vote if handicap. Thank goodness for early voting ballots in the mail! My husband and I went and voted today, though we got mixed up and went to the wrong location at first. We had moved, but only a block away so we didn't think it had changed. But it had! I do get frustrated with politics, but I am so thankful for the right to vote and be heard!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I voted on my way to school (work) this morning. This election is "high-stakes" for public education, so of course I made a point to vote. However, after everything women and other minorities went through to get the right to vote, I feel we MUST vote each and every time to protect our right. You know, if you don't use it, you lose it.

    It's sad that the majority of the eligible population doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Both my husband and I went and vote after I got done with work.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  4. We voted this morning and are watching the results come in right now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I definitely voted! Woo hoo!!!!! It always fills me with such emotion to vote, and I will exercise my right any chance I get.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My husband and I voted. One nice thing about our small town is that there's NEVER a line! We were in and out in less than 5 minutes. Years ago, when I lived in Albany, NY, there was a local ward leader contest, and the winner won by just one vote, proving that EVERY vote counts!

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I welcome comments, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.