Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Price of Democracy

I volunteererd at the school Book Fair this morning. This meant that I had to get up eary, shower, make lunches, and get the girls and myself out of the house about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Larry, who generally takes the girls, instead went to vote and take #4 to preschool.

My mom picked up #4 as she does most Tuesdays while I have accupuntcture. When I'm done I go to her store, get the boy, hang out, and then we pick up the girls. Today when I got to my mom's store, #4 was wearing a construction paper Indian headdress bearing his name hyphenated with "fast-runner" and a sticker on his shirt letting all of town know that he had voted.

As it happened, this was the time I had appointed to go vote myself, and upon hearing the change in plan, #4 whined, "But I don't want to go vote, it takes too wong!" Assuming they'd hit bad lines, I reassured him, "Oh, but Daddy doesn't know the fun line games that I know. We're going to play fun line games." Not entirely convinced, that promise at least took care of the whining. My next move was to rack my brain on what fun game we could possibly play waiting in line for the next available machine, all during the three minutes it takes to drive from my mom's store to the polls. Luckily it hit me. "Honey, Daddy voted at about 8:15. Lots of people vote then. It's 1:45 now--I bet there won't even be a line."

Feeling pretty confident that the mystery fun-line-game wouldn't be needed, I still felt great relief to see an open machine on my precinct's side of the room. Checked in, card inserted into the machine, the whining started up again. "This takes too wooong. I don't want to vote."

"Buddy, it's not going to take long at all."

"I want to go hooome."

As I touched each candidate I nervously checked my peripheral vision for signs of annoyed fellow voters and tried to quiet my bored son. Finally, everything voted for, I just now had to check the printout as it rolled under the viewing window to make sure everything had been recorded correctly. "See, buddy almost done. We'll go get the sisters in just a minute."

"Weawwy? Almost done? That was fast."

"See I told you there wouldn't be a line."

"We didn't have a wine, Daddy didn't know how to do the machine. But then he did."

I'll have to ask Larry what happened with his machine, because I'm pretty sure he knows how to touch a circle by his candidate's name on a screen. Good thing we don't live in a precinct with punch card ballot machines. As we all know from the 2000 elections, those are remarkably tricky and I'm just not sure #4 could have waited that long for his parents' voices to be heard. But hey, at least he now has TWO stickers on his shirt.

1 fishy comments:

Jenn said...

Two stickers? Lucky kid! We had voting drama too (it's on my blog). Glad it didn't take too woooong. :0)