I (Finally) Voted

It has been a long day already, but here’s my voting narrative. I decided to wait until after my classes today to vote, which meant I’d be driving to the polling center around 5 PM. The streets were buzzing with election activity today. Lots of people holding signs for Kerry-Edwards, for Senate candidate Denise Majette, and against the anti-gay Amendment. One of the precincts I drove past this morning had Election Protection workers out front, their black t-shirts making them highly visible. Many of my students wore their “I Voted” stickers to class, and others told me they had voted early (according to one student early voting took something like six hours at one polling center in Dekalb County). So, lots of excitement about the election on campus today.

So I got home from campus, excited to finally vote. I grabbed a book (Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude) just in case there was a long line, and got ready to head out to my precinct, a Presbyterian church (I think) at the intersection of Scott Blvd. and North Decatur. Then my car wouldn’t start. No charge at all. The engine wouldn’t turn over. Nothing. Fortunately my polling center is only about a mile from my apartment, so I simply started walking. By the time I got to the polls at 5:30 or so, there weren’t really any lines at all, just an election worker out front taking a break. I told her my story, and she called me a “great American,” adding, “Isn’t that what Sean Hannity always says?” I mumbled something in response and walked inside and filled out the form to get my ballot.

Here’s where my laziness usually causes a brief glitch. I don’t have a Georgia driver’s license. My Illinois license doesn’t expire for another month, so I’ve been hanging onto it as long as possible. This time around, the poll worker asked for an alternate form of ID. Oddly enough, last time in the Democratic run-off election, he didn’t ask. I’m not sure if there are different rules for different elections, but once I gave him my Georgia Tech ID, everything was cool. Georgia has touchscreen ballots, and like Maryland, the technology is somewhat counterintuitive, with your “mark” on the ballot represented with a big red “X.” On the whole, I had no problems or glitches at all. Voting went quickly, and the whole experience, round-trip, probably took about an hour (with a twenty-minute-plus walk each way). Now, it’s time to watch and wait. Thanks again for all of the voting narratives. I’m sure I’ll have more to say later, but now I’m off to an election party or two.

3 Comments »

  1. Jen Said,

    November 2, 2004 @ 7:00 pm

    You actually don’t even need an ID to vote, so thank god you actually had another ID with you. Apparently Ms. Hannitized isn’t aware of the election laws.

  2. New Kid on the Hallway Said,

    November 2, 2004 @ 7:18 pm

    Have to laugh – I got dinged on the no-local-license once before, in my previous job; I was pulled over and got lectured/ticketed by the local police guy since I was supposed to get a new one within 60 days of moving to the state and he said I was driving without a valid license. The license I had didn’t expire for 3 more years…but I had lived in the new state for 2 years. Ooops. Having said that – I haven’t got one for my new state yet either so clearly I haven’t learned. 😉 Anyway, take care you don’t get ticketed! (Yes, nothing to do with voting…sorry…)

  3. chuck Said,

    November 4, 2004 @ 11:31 am

    Working from my office, so I’ll just link to this in the comments, but one of my colleagues at Georgia Tech, Ian Bogost, has a useful analysis of the voting process in Georgia, which I’ll admit, is pretty clunky. I didn’t realize just how clunky until he described all of the required steps.

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