Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Civic Duty

Earlier today while speaking with Harold I told him that I needed to run over to the school and vote. Harold talked me into waiting for him, which was fine, but I prefer to go earlier as a general rule.

Harold got home just after 7 p.m. and we headed over. I knew there was going to be trouble when we pulled up to the school parking lot and there were ZERO parking spaces in the stalls and ZERO parking spaces on the street. It gets worse, as we drove around looking for a vacancy NO ONE was exiting the building. Harold commented that maybe something else was going on at the school but I knew better because both our children attend that school so if there was an activity I would have known about it. I thought there must be a gunman inside holding everyone hostage until we all declared ourselves democrat and voted for Hilary. This gunman would of course have been a raging postmenopausal woman cranked up on hormone replacement therapy. No such luck. We entered the doors and when I asked how long the wait was a nice gentleman stepped forward to inform us that the wait at that point was 2.5 hours. You read it right two and one-half hours. We exited the building got back into the car and went home.

No we didn't shirk our duty, we had to go home to get our son. We had left him at home with the assurance that we would be back in 10 minutes. Since that was not going to be the case we had to go pick him up. I also brought along theory readings for one of my classes, filled up a mug with Diet Caffeine-Free Pepsi, grabbed a pencil and ran to the bathroom.

We went back to the school and proceeded to wait two and one-quarter hours to vote. All this because whoever makes the decision on how many precincts participate at each location decided that there only needed to be two voting locations in our entire city. And at our location there was only ONE master book with names in it. And this one book was in one location, as in it was not divided into A through E, F through K, etc. A through Z it was. Not until 2 hours had passed did someone birth the brainchild that maybe the book could be divided into at least two sections. At one point when we peaked into the cafeteria to see how things were going we saw 4 voting booths EMPTY. The kind elderly folk running the master book couldn't find one lucky voter's name.

Dear Payson City, I have suggestions for smoother voting in the future:
1. Have multiple voting locations.
2. At said locations please provide at least 5 books for check in.
3. Have the kind volunteers be a little younger and thus a little more spry and with better ability to hear.
4. Provide Democrats and Republicans separate voting areas so that no fist fights break out. (Okay, there weren't any fist fights, but I was getting edgy enough to find the nearest person voting for Huckabee and give them a good one-two punch.)
5. The little stickers provided that say, "I Voted Today" (with the "V" in voted being a checkmark in a box) should really read, "I stood in line for 2.25 hours to vote today."

As we were walking to our car I gave a firm lecture on the right/privelege we have to vote in this country to our son. I informed him that he was required to vote at every election from the time he is 18 and never to miss. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to stand in line for two hours at a Payson polling place so that my voice can be heard. What a grand country we live in. Not only do I get to vote, but I get to voice my opinion about how badly this particular voting experience was without fear of recrimination. We are truly blessed.

God Bless America.


hyker said...

Wow. You guys are good. I don't know if I would have the patience to do that. I'm truly impressed.

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

Amen to that sistah! I'm so glad that you exercised your right to vote. It truly is a blessing that too many people take for granted. In these perilous times where politicians from all parties are trying to pass laws and reforms that are completely at odds with what we know to be right, we have a moral duty to let our voice be heard. We have to let our lights shine and voting is one way that we can do that. Good for you for sharing that lesson with Mac.

Cote Corner said...

i still have to register in Utah to vote. Do I have to go to the dmv to do that?

Becky said...

I wish I could have voted yesterday. I forgot to re-register when we moved. DANG! I'm registered now though so I'm good to vote in November.

Cote Corner - you can download a form from the internet and send it in. They just have to receive it 30 days prior to an election. Just google search "Register to vote (then put in the county you live in)". Then you mail it in. Convenient.

Juliew8 said...

I was planning to blog about the same issue. Apparently the County Clerk is the man who makes these decisions and he decided based on past voter turnout to cut the polling places by less than half the normal. We didn't have to wait that long, but I went one time after dropping McKell of somewhere and I knew after I saw the line that I wouldn't get done in time. I had to leave and go back later after Adam got home. Fortunately I knew what I was up against the second time and took a book. It was ridiculous, but our line went faster, I was only there for 40 minutes, but when I left the line was twice as long as when I arrived. That book thing was ridiculous, why have 8 booths, when you can't get people through the book fast enough. I appreciate the older people, but we need some changes made for sure.

Katie and Gary said...

I really hope you sent your suggestions to the proper authority. Even "a letter to the editor" at that. Please tell me you are going to do so....way too funny.

By the way, "birth the brainchild" was my favorite part and I hope I can remember it in future conversations.
Congrats on voting!

Brittany said...

i am willing to bet that the voting procedures for payson, ut were made long before mr. romney came along. that's what happens when a mormon runs for president. try again next presidential election... i bet the wait will be far less (assuming that your letter to city hall never makes it).

way to be dedicated to your civic duty!