It's another primary day in Madison, where primaries seem to come up every few weeks. Quite annoying. But I was walking to work today and my path took me right by the door to the church that is my polling place. I wanted to keep going, because I was completely unprepared, but something made me open the door. God? It was a church door. Guilt? The thought that the experience might be bloggable? The fear that there was some damned referendum question that too few people would be deciding? Maybe it was the sheer ease of going in, now that I was already there.
I walked down the long hallway. Someone somewhere was practicing on the church organ. The polling place was the pleasant first-floor library and not the downstairs gym that they use when they expect a crowd. I was greeted by 4 older women, who were sitting at 3 tables. They were all poll workers, and I was the only voter. It was 10:15 a.m., and I was the 10th voter of the day.
I took my big blue folder and white cardboard ballot over to one of the little open booths. This was a rather stressful situation, because the 4 women had nothing to do but watch me, and I had no idea what was on the ballot. I read it for a while and eventually decided I should just pick a party and choose the party line. It was a primary, so there was no competition between the parties, and within each party, there didn't seem to be any competition among the candidates. So what was this exercise all about?
I decided to pick a party and vote a straight party line, which meant that I drew a half-inch line with a magic marker and fed it into the scanner. I said goodbye to the poll workers, they thanked me for voting, and fortunately, I had the presence of mind to thank them for their work, and that gave the whole exercise meaning.
But perhaps you are wondering....