Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In the Voters' Booth

I was the 15th person in line today at my local polling place -- at 6:55 a.m. I waited behind a woman reading; a man seated on one of those walking stick/folding port-a-seats; a woman munching on a granola bar; and a hippie.

When the doors opened at 7 a.m., we filed in and suddenly the room was even more full.

It may be the last time that I get to vote at my local voter stop. Washington state has only two counties not yet voting only by mail, and I think this is a civic crime. Why?
Well, at 7 a.m. on a rainy Tuesday, I met three neighbors also in line, heard voters trading stories about autumn colors in New England ("The colors are already all gone," one woman said. "I was there two weeks ago."), and watched a dad explain the in's and out's of voting to his two kids before they went to school.
I also noticed that the usual elderly poll workers had been infused with young blood. Young men and women wearing official name badges dotted the room, ready to answer questions and point the way to the appropriate line or provisional ballot.
I can only believe that a step toward all main-in ballots may save the state moola, but it just may cost a while lot more in lost community. Doesn't sound like much of a savings ...