Tuesday, November 6, 2012

voting with the crowd

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We try to vote in all the smaller elections, you know, City Cupholder and Local Bridge Inspector and stuff. And those are, like all elections, on some Tuesday sometime and it's usually just us and a table full of election officials who look like they've been bussed in from Silver Sneakers over at the YMCA. They are always totally delighted to see us, because it's lonely at the top. And then we vote and Toby reads over my shoulder and comments loudly on my choices, but it doesn't matter because there's no one there.

I knew today would be busier, although I didn't expect lines out the door like some of you had. The little church/gym we vote in is never packed. I had the usual stern Car Talk, "Now. We're going in this place, and there might not be any other kids, it is a quiet place. So I'm gonna need you to turn your hyperness down to 0." Toby makes no promises. Very quickly, I became aware of another, much greater concern.

The voter in front of us was a little person. I don't know the PC term, I'm probably going to offend someone. The guy was less than 3 feet tall and over 60 years old. He was the smallest human adult I have ever seen, and somehow very bald and very hairy. It was one of those moments, where I just stood very, very still and hoped that somehow my very curious and loud children would not notice him. Look, we have a special needs kid in our family. They are totally unphased by people in wheelchairs, with oxygen, the severely disabled, etc. But this, a small grownup, I knew. And then they started in. "Aww," Brynn said in a stage whisper, "so cute!" It was a terrible stage whisper. Or effective, if one wanted to whisper to an audience from a stage. Toby had a couple of questions too, and I tried to just shut it down using only my face. It only took us 5 minutes to get through the line, but it felt like an hour.

Finally we got our ballot and went over to our station, where MittRominy and Burrock Obama were discussed at some length, and Toby expressed some real reservations about Ryan, because this was the first he had heard of the guy, and what if we wanted a different Vice President? And then he had some questions about ballot procedures, because, ideally, he would like to have the President announced before bedtime. I gave a microsecond of thought to throwing in the electoral college and hanging chads and whatnot, but who has time for that? Plus there were a lot of other people voting, and sometimes I get the feeling that not everyone thinks my kids are so hilarious and awesome and situationally appropriate. Crazy, I know.

And then my ballot was rejected because I messed up one circle and I had to get another ballot and there was a lot of talk among the younger crowd about me getting to vote twice, which made me feel even more like I was trying to pull a fast one in a Catholic gym with my diversion team of Clarklings. And the MOG ran into some snag with his registration and had to shuffle around from station to station getting things notarized while Tristan and Brynn climbed the bleachers and made enemies.

But it's done, it's done and now we wait. I was thinking about letting Toby stay up to see the results, but I just don't think I'm smart enough to handle it.

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