Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You should get extra votes for every 30 minutes you wait in line

If that were the case, then I would have gotten 3+ votes for my advanced voting wait!

I went to Metcalf South mall (can you still call it a mall if all the stores are closed?) to wait my turn to vote, vote, vote! I rushed as fast as I could after school to beat the after work crowd. No such luck. See these doors in the far end of this picture? Those were the doors I walked in. I saw this line and though, "Not so bad, maybe 100 people. I bet the line moves fast."

THEN, I turned the corner. A line at least twice as long as this one heading half-way down the mall. Ugh.

I got bored, after I flipped through the 2 magazines I brought with me, so I started taking pictures of good old Metcalf South. I couldn't believe how dismal it looks now, but there were a lot of the same features that I remember as a little kid. These lit, mirrored ceilings looked exactly the same. One thing that had changed (couldn't get a picture of it around the masses of people) were the fountains in the middle. They used to be open and they had cement walkways so you could walk across the fountain. No longer. I guess a few too many kids fell in because there is now a 3 foot tall iron fence surrounding the fountain.

See this blonde head on the right side of this photo? This is the woman that came in AFTER me huffing and puffing because of the long line. She hadn't even seen the front of the line to know it was long, she just assumed. She started in immediately with the complaining and yakking my ear off. This was when I promptly pulled out my Home Magazine. I guess my ignoring her was her cue to move AHEAD of me in line. And not just me, but the poor older woman (who was voting for the first time) was cut in front of, too. Her guise was that she was talking to this nice man in the jacket in the picture.

She went on and on saying probably 3 times that she's been voting for a long time and she's never seen lines like this ... and how Jefferson and Lincoln and Adams would be proud. Seriously? Then she said "I bet I could sell my spot in line for $___" every 10 feet we moved in line. When we turned the corner for the last stretch, she stepped out of line to sit down telling us she'd be right back after she rested her feet for a bit. Oooooh ... I was pissed!

While she was out of line, Creepy Raperman next to me asked me if I go on the internet much. WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT? I told him no, only at work (huge lie) so that he would stop talking to me. Mind you, that he'd been standing next to me for over an hour at this point. Then he said, "Ever think about having a website?" I told him no, and that I didn't have time for it. I don't know what he was getting at, but I wasn't about to tell him that I had a blog. I was afraid he was going to tell me about some creepy website that I could set up with who knows what on it. Ahhh! Then HE stepped out of line to rest his feet. There were elderly people in line waiting just as long as them with no problem.

As soon as I completed my ballot, I was out of there. I was sure to say many "thank you"s to all the volunteers at the voting booths. I know how long of a day they must have had. I was signature #982 in just one book, and Dad says he thinks there were plenty more filled books from today. If that's the case ... I hope to God that all the Obama voters are getting out there early and the McCain voters are waiting until the lines are too long on November 4th. I did see PLENTY of people walk in, see the line, and walk out. Yikes! I hope they go back at some point to vote. I can't wait to see the results of this election! I think many records are going to be broken when it comes to # of young voters, # of advance voters, # of minority voters, # of 1st time voters, etc, etc, etc.

Good luck to the rest of you that will be fighting the crowds. I'm sure they will be crazy everywhere! Just make sure you get out there and vote!

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chitknit said...

We're going tonight after yoga. We can vote at Ten Quivira Plaza. One of the teachers I work with voted there on Saturday and she said they were in and out in 5 minutes!

I hope we get that lucky tonight!

P.S. I hate line creepers like that woman - nothing makes me more angry! Everyone else has to wait in line - why are you any different or special?

... said...

You voted! How patriotic!

distaff said...

So proud of you, Bets! You learn a lot just by going to vote ... not just from watching the political blather on tv. Now make sure that all your buddies take an hour or so to do the right thing. Imagine if you gave up the better part of a day at work to wait for your chance to vote ... you could you know -- it's the law!

Heather rules said...

My wait was not that bad yesterday. I went to the Sedgwick Co. Election Office and waited maybe 30 minutes. I was SO thrilled to see people from all different backgrounds out there voting. I think I even choked up a bit at one point!

Anonymous said...

Yeah for voting, Betsy! I enjoy voting on election day...for some reason it feels patriotic to fight the lines and wear my "I voted today" sticker. I am also going to wear my "Real Women Vote" shirt that we made years ago! This year my vote really counts too...GO OHIO! :)
J :)

Bets said...

I'll also be wearing my "Smart Women Vote" tshirt. I always wanted to be that girl in the picture, and I think I've become her ... cute classes and all! :)

Anonymous said...

I voted at Metcalf South on Monday afternoon and waited in a similarly long line, next to an old woman who said she had been voting since before my parents were born (they are both now around 60).

I noticed the same things about the mall that you noticed - the celings and particularly the fountains, which are now mostly empty. What is more depressing than an empty wishing fountain? I voted for Obama, and while I have not been as enthusiastic about his candidacy or him as some of his other supporters, it felt somehow appropriate to wait at such a depressed place to vote for such a hopeful person. I am glad you supported him, and hope others do as well.

RachelC said...

It took 20 minutes at Quivira and Shawnee Mission Pkwy today. I saved my "I voted" sticker to wear on Tuesday. I kind of feel like I was cheating by voting ahead, but I think it's a fabulous idea!

Bets said...

Anon! If I had just gone a day earlier, we might have been able to commiserate about the sad state of Metcalf South together!
I love your thought about an empty wishing well ... you're right. Very sad.

movie fan said...

i can't help thinking it's awesome that there has been such long lines all over... people taking a greater interest in public issues is always a good thing