230? What's that number signify, you ask? Is that my ridiculously absurd marathon goal time? Is that what time I got home from the bar last night? Nope and nope. This morning I was voter #230 in my precinct.
After 2 years of constant campaigns, billions spent, it all comes down to this simple equation: 1 person = 1 vote.
Voting was pretty smooth this morning. I got there just before the polls opened and joined the growing line. I went with my roommate who needed me to vouch for her residency. The whole voting process took about 1 hour, but there were some inefficiencies. I had to wait in 5 different lines!
Line 1: Just to get into the polling place: approximately 20 minutes
Line 2: To check in as a pre-registered voter to obtain a piece of paper so that I could then get a ballot. ~5 minutes
Line 3: Vouch for my roommate and help her register to vote. ~10 minutes
Line 4: Hand in piece of paper, receive ballot. ~2 minutes
THEN VOTE ~3 minutes (there are a lot of judges to vote for!)
Line 5: Wait to HAND IN my completed ballot. This was the longest line and most annoying. ~20 minutes
But it was all worth it for church coffee and a cinnamon bun! THANK YOU ELECTION VOLUNTEERS!! You all made the voting process smooth and enjoyable.
By the time I left, all the lines were starting to dwindle. I'm sure the post-5pm rush will be pretty big too.
So when I had finished voting, I hopped on the bike and cruised toward the office, passing churches and schools along the way that were serving as polling places. It was so neat to see democracy in action like that!
I then stopped in at Starbucks to get my free coffee for having voted, and I discovered to my dismay that I had lost my "I Voted" sticker on my bike ride. I am really bummed about that. REALLY bummed. It's weird that such a small thing as a sticker could evoke such a powerful emotional response (ok, I wasn't that distraught). It speaks to the power of voting, and to the fact that we all want to feel like we have a say in our government. That sticker represents the pride we have in our democracy. So I'll just have to live with an "I Voted" sticker on my blog.
But thank you Starbucks, you gave me free coffee even without the sticker. I applaud you, butplease don't put any stores in my neighborhood to compete with the local coffee shops!