I must be getting worried about the election. Rumblings are starting about a big turn-out at the polls, and even possible chaos on election day. (What kind of chaos? Nobody knows, obviously — that’s why they call it chaos.) People are pushing advance voting as more convenient, and as a way to increase the chance that your vote will actually be counted.
I didn’t reach my tipping point on this until I noticed that our polling place, a nearby church, is doing some kind of remodeling and most of the parking lot is torn up. Suddenly it seemed like, by waiting until 11/4 to vote, I was risking a little more than the chance of bursting into flames I always take whenever I walk into a church.
So yesterday I went to the county courthouse and voted. No fuss, no waiting, plenty of parking. I saw one other voter while I was there. Since voting only took a couple of minutes, I wasn’t there long, and it was during a regular work day, so I can’t tell anything about the popularity of advance voting in my county. I still didn’t like using a touch screen voting machine that gives no printed record of my ballot, but that’s a separate issue, one that our Republican county clerk evidently doesn’t take seriously.
At any rate, I feel like I accomplished a couple of worthwhile things. I gave the system every possible opportunity to receive and count my vote. And I insulated myself from the inevitable unpleasantness of late-campaign political ads. Already I got one campaign phone call, from a live person asking for my vote, and was able to tell him I’d already voted — for his candidate, as it happens. I admit it would have been, and may yet be, more satisfying to get a call for a candidate I don’t like and tell them sorry, you’re too late, voted already, thanks very much, kindly drop dead.
After the way the last eight years have gone, what happens next may shock me but nothing would truly surprise me, so at least I’m prepared to take shelter on election day if unrest breaks out and the teargas starts flying.