I saw something this morning I have never seen before. A line at my polling place in Westport, Massachusetts. Normally the entranceway looks like this: and that’s generally my view on the way out of the gymnasium I vote in.
Today however, there must have been ten people in front of me. Ten! Can you imagine? Westport has a population of 15,523 at last count, I think and while I can live without the neighbor’s cow who once in a while pops over to taste the grass on my front lawn, I love this town for her beautiful beaches, rivers and the utterly fantastic view of the night skies.
Where is Westport, Mass? Well, start from Cape Cod and follow the coastline westward. When you hit Rhode Island, take a half step backwards and you’re here!
But, seriously, a ten person polling line? Unbearable. I haven’t had to wait that long to vote (over three minutes!!!) since I lived in New Bedford. And I maintain that it is not the absolute waiting time that makes the wait so difficult, but the difference between what you expect and that which you experience. Normally the closest I experience to an Election Day line here is when there’s someone getting their ballot at the table in front of me. So as I see it a three minute wait when you expect none is at least as bad as waiting an hour and a half when you only expect to wait an hour. Right? No? Okay, so maybe I’m spoiled.
I admit I showed up at the polls just as they opened so I wasn’t the only one trying to exorcise (sic) his franchise early. However, I see this as a sign that we are all taking this election seriously even though it is a choice between one candidate who we hope will, as per usual, not keep any campaign promises and another who we hope will, just once, keep one of his (and I’ll let you choose which is which, I ain’t telling).
However long you wait in line today, have a good Election Day. In the immortal words of John van Buren, “Vote early and vote often!”