Early voting ended in my area this Friday, and official day is on Tuesday. I’ll be honest – I know my vote makes zero difference in this whole thing. People want to think that Texas can progress, but it’s so gerrymandered that our voices will never really be heard, and in the places where they could be, non-white voters are so disenfranchised that it’s difficult to impossible for them to have their say. It’s a mess, and everyone knows it’s a mess, but the people it helps like it that way, so it stays.
Anyway. Enough of the political rant. This post is actually about a funny story from when I went to vote this week.
My closest early voting station is at my local library. Unfortunately, the parking lot is very small, and politicians came up with a very sneaky way of discouraging voters this year. They basically filled the parking lot with folks trying to shill for their campaigns, so that even though there was literally no more than 2-3 people in line, there were no parking spots available to potential voters! (There are some hot races in my local area – we gets upwards of half a dozen fliers daily from a single politician!) So after circling the parking lot a couple times, trying to find someone who happened to be leaving and wondering why it was so full since there was clearly no line, I gave up and parked at a florist shop nearby. On one hand, this meant trying to cross a busy, four-lane road with no pedestrian crossing area. On the other, it meant that I missed 95% of the campaigners, who can’t get within so many feet of the voting area. For extra protection, I brought a library book with me in plain sight so everyone could see I was there for the library, not for voting, and they’d leave me alone. Ha!
Road crossed successfully, library book turned in, campaigners avoided, I got into the voting “line” which literally had one person ahead of me. Took about two minutes til I was sent to get checked in, and this is where things got weird.
The lady checking me in took my license and then verified my address. Before she handed my license back, she looked up at me and said, “How many cats do you have at your house?”
I swear, my brain kicked into overdrive. Was this a security question? Did I put this as a security question the last time I renewed my voter registration? Was this something to do with “preventing voter fraud” as the Right is always claiming about its absurd measures? What number of cats had I had when I sent that answer in, and is it still the same? What if I get it wrong?
All that took place in about two seconds, and then I just said, “Seven.” The lady laughed, handed me back my license (Did I pass the test?) and started chatting with me about cats while she got my ballot ready and printed out. Only when she handed me the ballot and I caught sight of my shirt did I clock what had just happened.
You have multiple shirts related to cats. You also probably have cat hair everywhere on your clothes, even if you try to keep them clean. There is really no reason to ever be surprised when a stranger asks you about cats. It’s kinda your whole personality at this point. Get used to it.
At least I still avoided any campaign folks on my way back out of the library. And I got my useless vote in, civic duty done. I guess it was all worth the funny story!
I always vote. It annoys me when people don’t vote, even if they’re in an area which is a safe seat for one party.
Same. I missed my first election back in 2000 (the first one I was eligible to vote in). At the time, I had a three-week-old infant and was not allowed to drive for another three weeks, and Jason had our car for work anyway. I went to a polling location to vote after he got home and he could drive me, but they said it was the wrong location, and for some reason the right one was very far away, too far to travel before the polls closed. I’ve made a plan and never missed one again after that, even though most of the time I’ve lived in places where my vote didn’t matter because of our stupid electoral college bs.