Today was the day! California had its Primary election as well as our state elections today. Finally! As I've previously mentioned, CA is the most populous state in the country, and it really irks me that our primary vote is all but useless. This year, it was predicted that we might actually have some influence over the selection. As it turned out however, that influence was very little. Since all but one of the Republicans candidates had dropped out, that race had already been decided before it was our turn. However, the Democrat candidacy was still (narrowly) up in the air, so there was a slim chance that California (and New Jersey) could be the deciding factor between Hillary and Bernie, or at least an influencing factor over what the DNC might do at the convention. As it turns out, Hillary took the state by a wide margin (far more than I'd expected), so if anything our vote more solidified the candidacy for Hillary rather than help choose it. Well, at least we had state elections that hadn't already been decided before we got to vote. And I did vote, so I get to complain as much as I want now! :)
However, today's vote wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. A few weeks ago, I had filled out my application for an absentee ballot. Tuesdays tend to be hard for me to get to the polling place after school and my mornings are already early enough without having to leave even earlier to vote. In the past, the absentee hasn't been one iota of a problem. This time though, it was. For the last couple of weeks, I've been hearing chatter about people receiving their absentees, but I had yet to receive it. Election Day got closer and I was still without one. I decided I'd just go to the polls in the morning and tell them my tale of woe. Weirdly enough, when I picked up yesterday's mail after my walk this morning, the absentee ballot had arrived...that would have been the day before the election day. It was too late to mail in, so it came with me to the polls this morning.
That's where I hit another road block. I will admit, I hadn't checked the address of my polling place before I left this morning as I've gone to the same place since I've lived in the house (11 years). It's about a block away and an easy in and out location on my way to work. I arrived at just a few minutes after 7:00 am and waited to check in. There I was told that this was no longer my polling place. Instead, rather than going a block away, on the same main road as my house, my polling place was now about a mile away going in the opposite direction of my work. Ugh!
I seriously contemplated just going to work and trying to go afterwards, but I knew I wouldn't. I talked myself into it and headed over to the new polling places. (BTW, it seems as if many of our polling places were changed this year as I was NOT the only one who went to the wrong place!)
Considering I needed to make 3 left turns (at punishment left turn lights) I made pretty good time and was relieved when I pulled into the parking lot of the nearby retirement community's recreation center where my precinct was polling.
My relief was short-lived however when I walked into the center and there was a line about 6 deep. All 6 were residents of the local retirement community and looked to have been retired for quite some time...let's just say they were not on their way to work. After about ten minutes of waiting, my patience was waning. Most of the wait was due to the people in front of me needing a lot of help with the entire process of the voting. After 15 minutes of waiting, I was ready to vote for a change in policy...if you don't have to be at work in the morning, you don't get to arrive at the polls before 9:00 am! I was having hanging-chads-in-Florida flashbacks when it got to 20 minute mark waiting in line. Finally, there was an opening at one of the Democrat booths. Thankfully I had filled in my sample ballot ahead of time so I was able to punch those chads out quickly and efficiently. By the time I fed my ballot into the voting machine and sprinted out the door to my car it was 7:40, ten minutes later than I normally leave for work. But I made it. I don't know if my vote was worth all the trouble, but I proudly wore my "I Voted" sticker throughout the day.
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