New Jen's Horde

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I voted....barely!



1. It all turned out OK in the end, but for a while there it looked like I wouldn't be able to vote at all.

2. Davin went down alone to vote when the polls opened at 7am. Because this was so early, and he was running out to try to do it before work, he inadvertently grabbed MY signature card instead of his own.

3. No one at the polling place realized he had the wrong signature card until after they'd put him in the computer. You'd think that the guy who checked his signature card against his ID would have noticed something was amiss, but perhaps they were looking at the IDs to try to gather some other kind of information? Maybe the guy was just scoping out everyone's weight (ha! the joke's on him. I haven't weighed what my license says since I first got one at 16!)

4. Everyone had a good laugh, except the ID checking guy who had a good scolding, and they made Davin fill out a blank signature card. They started his process over and he was able to vote and get back to his day.

5. Then, I went down around 10:30 am and got into the, by now, tremendously long line. Of course, I had all four kids with me. We snaked up and down the hallway, stood in line going down a stairwell, and then waited all along the hallway leading to the Sunday School rooms. Then, finally, BLESSEDLY, after a quarter mile of church hallways and 6 billion questions from the children about every painting, office, piece of furniture, nook and cranny that we passed, we got to the room where the actual voting was taking place! I was extremely relieved to get there, because the kids had been being good for a very long time by now, and I knew they couldn't hold out much longer. The poking had started, and the complaints (you know the ones, "He's touching me/standing too close to me/looking at me," and so on.) It was only a matter of time before a full scale, grand mal tantrum erupted in our midst.

6. The next step of the process involved filling out a blank signature card, since mine had been ruined earlier in the day by a well-meaning but very tired husband. They pulled up my name in the system and informed me that there was no ballot for me, that I had already voted.

7. Oh, crap.

8. I'm sure you can all figure out what had happened. When all was said and done, they had given Davin a ballot under my name. They gave my vote away! Apparently, given how slack they'd been at checking IDs, just about anyone could have shown up and taken anyone's ballot...

9. So, at the point where I knew the kids were about to start behavior that would shame our family for generations to come, we were pulled out of line. They had to call the election center in the county seat and try to figure out what to do with me. Fortunately, everyone there remembered the whole situation with Davin earlier, so they could vouch for me. Which they did, over and over until they were able to persuade the right people to clear out my name and allow me to vote. It took about 40 minutes, but they did it! Hallelujah! And the kids had been pretty good that whole time that we waited. Double Hallelujah! Surely, that was a miracle in itself. They're good kids, but some of the adults were getting pretty testy after the wait, so I had fully expected the salad to hit the shooter by now.

10. Yay, we were back in line, with the appropriate documentation to do my patriotic duty, rah rah rah! And then, the line ground to a halt. There were 20 voting machines, but only one or two were in use. We waited for news, and finally word passed from person to person to those of us at the back of the line. The printers were broken. Without the printers, no one could be issued their codes that would allow the them to begin the ballot program on the machines. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more.

11. There was a woman in front of us, whose two girls were absolutely finished. They were probably 3 and 4, and were rolling around on the floor and refusing to come when she asked. And she wasn't asking nicely, she was using that gutteral Mommy's-going-to-crack-if-you-don't-come-here-right-now voice, The one that just gets quieter and quieter, yet more menacing as the demand goes forth. No one ignores that voice for long, unless they've gone completely around the bend. It was bad.

12. I thank that woman, applaud her even! Just remember, that the next time your kids are acting up in a situation like that, that people aren't judging you. Or, at least not all of them. Most likely at least one other mom is watching your kids doing this and thinking, "At least it wasn't my kids this time! There but for the grace of God goes the behavior of my children."

13. When the line finally began to move, it went pretty quickly. I'd made out a cheat sheet so that I could at least get the actual voting out of the way in a speedy fashion. Then we grabbed some "I Voted" stickers and headed out the door. (Davin wonders why they don't dye our thumbs purple, like in Iraq, that would totally rock! And, it would be obvious that I hadn't already voted.) In all, it had taken nearly two hours. Two hours with four kids, that should count like at least eight hours, don't you think?

The moral of the story, as I told my children in the car in the aforementioned gutteral crazed mama voice, was this: "Did you guys see how much that sucked, and how long it took to do that? When you all are grown up, I don't want to hear you telling me you don't have time to vote. Because if you do I'll remind you of the day that I had to stand in line for nearly two hours with you four kids just to be able to cast a ballot in a lousy mid-term election!!!!!"

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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hope its better next time
Oh my, what a story ! I am not allowed to vote in Germany because I live in Belgium and in Belgium I am not allowed because I am german. See, that's easy !
Wow! What a mess. Made for a fabulous T13, though. :)
Geez, what a pain. But - hey - we voted. We did our part.

Three words for me, for next year: mail in ballot. (I wasn't able to send it in on time this year, so had to go down to the polling place...but I went.)
Makes me feel guilty, considering my husband and I got out within 5 mins!

Thanks for visiting.
HAHAHA - I'm sticking to voting by absentee ballot...
I agree with Amy - fabulous TT story to share. Extra kudos to you for taking the time to vote, so many don't...
Oh no Jen. What a crazy-awful experience. It was a fun read though. : ) *lol
you had me lauging, as a mother of 4 I felt free to laugh at that...know exactly what you are talking about. And that voice, I call it my demon-mom's quiet, intense, and other-worldly, I think it even echoes...
great list, hope next vote is better.
happy TT, mine is up...and the subject is "Jennifer should..." you might find it relevent.
yes, I am just another Jen, too!

Jenny in Ca
Yikes! What a runaround, just to vote. Glad to hear you were able to vote in the end and that you had well-behaved children. Kudos to you and to them for enduring all that!

Happy T13. :)
Wow! That was an experience! But it's worse over here! :D

Thanks for sharing the experience! And congratulations for exercising your right.

Happy Thursday!
What an ordeal just to vote! But at least it was entertaining for us, your faithful blog readers...heheheh

Oh, and let me tell you about my voting day.

1. Fill out ballot previously mailed to me.
2. Go to polling place.
3. Walk in, drop envelope in box, and leave.

Sorry...just had to do it...

Happy TT!
That's a bad experience, but a great 13 list/story!
Wow, I didn't have to take my voters registration card or any ID with me at all. Each and every time I go to vote, all I have to do is fill out this little piece of paper with my name printed on it, my address, and my signature. Then they look it up in the books! It works and no problems, I hate having to keep track of a piece of paper, so I am glad I don't have to show that stuff to anyone. Wish you didn't have such a rough time but at least you did get out to vote! Congrats!
Wow, what a mess that was! Good to see, however, that your democractic principles prevailed through all of the mishaps of the day!

Happy Thursday to you, and thank you for visiting my blog!
Good for you...I'm proud of you. What a good example you are setting for your kids.
Well at least you did your civic duty!

Thanks for stopping by!
hopefully they have all this mess cleared up next time... but I think I'm ordering absentee ballots!
Well, your wild voting adventure was worth waiting for. And yes, time does seem to dilate proportionately with the higher the number of children in a confined space :-)
Kudos to the kids, but what a horrific story! I needed a nap after reading your list :D
Ironically I saw your post where you ask for short lines etc. Like I say, "Wish in one hand . . . ."
Glad you stuck it out! Even if the lines suck, it does mean good voter turnout!
My county is all vote-by-mail, so all we had to do was take our ballot to the courthouse and drop it off, or mail it in. :-)
This is why I always do "Absentee Ballots." Haha!
"The salad was about to hit the shooter"...LOL!

I hate hate hate taking the twins to vote. They turn into little hellions. I happily voted sans children this year. We had a long discussion about governmental processes in the car later, however, so I feel like my homeschool-mom-necessity was fulfilled without dragging the children in there.
Man, voting can be so hard!!! LOL Glad you got it straightened out!

Happy Thursday!
Wow! Sounds like one of my voting experiences in Alabama....only they just couldn't find my name on the printout. Then, when they did, there were at least 2 other people with my first and last name PLUS my middle initial...made for a lot of fun after winding through the church halls. Oh, and it was cold and wet that day.

Tuesday night, we drove through cow manure (we're out in the country) and had to bear that smell the whole time we were in the car. Eee-yew!

If you drag your kids out for a mid-term election, I can only imagine what you'd do for a Presidential election!

Sounds like you need to check the 13 Things I Do to Relax. I feel for you. I have four kids also--our youngest is almost 2 and had to go to the polling place (ONE booth) with us.
We took Carlotta and the Chairman a few years back and the Chairman kept asking "who they were voting for". We advised it wasn't appropriate, so he began saying "I hope you voted for Matt Blunt" (Who ended up winning the election for governor in Missouri). He had personally met him, thought he was cool, and even contributed $5.67 to his campaign.
good luck next time! Can't get any worse, at least!! :)
What a story... it probably didn't feel like it was worth all that trouble... but it is and you did your part! That is a blessing indeed.
Now you're a BRAVE woman!!! Quite the story!!

Happy TT!!
Talk about determination! Uncle Sam would be proud!
You're my hero. If there were a VoterWoman hero it would be you. I don't know if I would have dared.
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