I love to vote, and so I woke up this morning all ready to be a responsible citizen and get my sticker and a cookie, like every year. My polling place has been Maxwell’s school for the last decade, so voting this year was going to be more convenient than ever.
I don’t know what happens in your community, but in mine, the election people send out a letter every year to let you know your polling place and what districts you’re in. They put “BE SURE TO READ THIS AS YOUR POLLING PLACE MAY HAVE CHANGED” on the envelope. I got my letter a couple months ago. I opened it, looked at it, and put it in the file where I keep such things. This morning, I got it out and looked at it again because I wanted to remember what district I’m in because I always feel like a moron when someone asks me and I don’t know.
By the time I got to Max’s school, I could only remember that my district was twenty-something, but that was enough. The other tables were single digits, so I went confidently up to the twenty-something table, told them my name, and then waited while they couldn’t find me.
Then they were like, “Oh, your polling place moved. You have to go to the Senior Center.”
So, somehow, I–a librarian and writer–managed to read a letter twice without noting this key piece of information. Reading is my number one best skill in life. It is arguably the only thing I’m really good at.
But that is not all.
I went to the Senior Center, and, again, I went confidently up to the only twenty-something table, told them my name, and waited while they couldn’t find me.
“What’s your house number?” they asked.
I told them.
“Oh, that half of your road’s at the Fire Hall.”
I was like, “Seriously?”
And they were like, “Seriously.”
So I walked over to the Fire Hall. At this point, I was running out of coffee. I hadn’t thought to refill at the school (where they have coffee in addition to the cookies), because I didn’t know voting was going to be a half-hour adventure.
I went up to the twenty-something table, told them my name, and–WHEW!–they found me. I voted.
BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY COOKIES.
I did get a sticker, though, so that was something. And I got a little exercise. And, you know, I participated in democracy.
It’s just that democracy is way more fun when it’s served with cookies.