Friday, October 31, 2008


So I voted yesterday. The way I remember voting is climbing the stairs to the large meeting room in the West Dundee City Hall, greeting our old neighbor Mrs. Arnoni and showing her my id, getting the long sheet of manila, sliding it in the heavy plastic cartridge, and poking out my choices with the stylus. I clearly remember the tactile satisfaction of punching holes . And, if that all wasn’t treat enough, I’d get a sticker afterwards to put on my coat.

Yesterday I went to the early voting site, a large public library, which already had not one, but two long lines of people waiting to vote. I didn’t recognize anyone. I took my chances on the line to the left. A cranky volunteer shoved a blue sheet of paper on the state constitutional convention into my hand. A how-to-vote video played in a droning loop at the front of the line. Most people, even those who appeared to have come together, stood silently with grave expressions on their faces. For a moment the tension seemed to relax as two women behind me began to chat about early voting. But then I heard one snap at the other, “I don’t talk about how I’m going to vote, I just don’t” and they fell back into silence.

The line moved slowly, it occurred to me to wonder if the polling volunteers had been recruited from our local DMV, and then it was my turn to vote. Whoever designed the new machines was probably enamored of their iPod at the time. Its main mode of operation is a big fat click wheel. You use the wheel to go back and forth, up and down. To select you just click the Enter button nestled against the right side of the wheel. Spin and click, spin and click. I have to admit, as far as tactile satisfaction goes, the click wheel wasn’t bad. Still, at the end of a contentious election season I would have preferred a long, metal stick and a ballot to rip holes in.

A little flag graphic flashed to show me that they were done with me and I wandered out of the booth wondering if I ought to say good bye or thank anyone. It wasn't until I got half way down the stairs that I realized I hadn’t gotten a sticker for my jacket.


Andy said...

Yeah, voting the old fashioned way was better. I don't recall there ever being a butterfly chad conrtoversy where we voted. Happily, the Illinois machines print out a record of how you voted that gets tucked safely away inside the machine after you have a chance to review it.

Love you

Crystal said...

I think we go to the same DMV! Meanie heads. Kim you write so stinking beautiful, I'm jealous. You really know how to tell a story, I feel like I'm ready a novel. =)

We actually have the nicest volunteers where we go vote, at the old East Dundee village hall. Everyone is at least 70. =) I love it. No long lines and always smiling eager to help you faces. I LOVE IT!

Janett Sue said...

"Recruited from the DMV",made me laugh. In their defence, the day I was there the lady was very nice and even huged me before she made sure I had my sticker. I told you that you were on the wrong side of the library. I remember going with you to vote at city hall once but don't remember voting. It was big enough just that I was there. Mrs. Arnoni was sweet and bless her heart she thought I was one of dad's daughters. First time I met her we had just moved in and she came right into the house,walked up the stairs and walked right into my bedroom. Surprise!

Steph Stanger said...

Hey Kim! I left a comment a few days ago but then some how it didn't post. I got discouraged and gave up. =)
Anyhoo...I said that this was pretty sad. I even teared up with the no sticker bit!

Kimberly Cangelosi said...

Good, good, I'm glad you feel me on the sticker thing!