Vote! Vote! Vote!

So… I thought I’d live-blog my voting experience today, just for fun. Check back for updates — it looks like I’ll have time for a few. I’m waiting at Watkins School, which makes me precinct 91, according to my voter registration card.

7:30 – I leave the apartment, terribly proud of myself for being up and ready to go so early.

7:32 – I come to the end of my block, turn the corner, and see the line. I think, “Wow! Long line! I can’t believe it’s to the corner already.”

7:33 – I get to the next corner and realize that isn’t the end of the line — it’s where it turns.

7.33
The line turning the corner of 12th & D at 7:33.

7:34 – I get to the end of the line, about 3/4 of the way up D Street.

7:46 – I’ve moved about 10 feet. Oh wait, walking again, so maybe 20.

7:55 – The line behind me is now to the corner of 13th & D — and the entrance to the polling place is just up from 12th & C E, so it’s quite a line.

A moment ago, some of the Watkins kids came out to the playground with a sign for their bake sale. We suggested that, instead of a sign, they bring the actual baked goods around, but they haven’t come back.

I should have had breakfast. At least I brought coffee.

8.08
And stretching all the way to the corner of 13th & D by 8:08.

8:08 – I had no more than written that the kids hadn’t come back when they did! They were only bringing Dunkin Donuts — nothing fresh — but I happily handed over a dollar for a powdered-sugar one.

8:30 – I’m finally around the corner and on the same block as the entrance to the polling place. The bake sale kids came back — this time with homemade goodies. I bought a rice krispie treat and a brownie, both of which I’m saving for later.

So far, I’ve only seen campaign workers for Carol Schwartz, Michael Brown, and the DC Dems. I’m guessing there will be more as I get closer to the “stop electioneering” spot.

8:42 – Getting closer, though there is now no chance of making my morning meeting. I’ve been chatting via email with the rest of the folks who are supposed to be there, and we’re almost all in long lines.

8.45
Getting closer... finally, 12th Street! (8:45 a.m.)

8:57 – Just got the pitch from a guy named Rimenschneier (sp?) Rimensnyder who is running for Shadow Senator on the platform that DC should become a federal territory so we don’t have to pay taxes.

9:00 – Ooh. I can see the door!

9:01 – And might I add, I’m really glad to be getting towards inside. It’s raining (though very lightly) and is getting colder.

9:08 – I’m being held outside the door as there are “too many people inside.”

9.09
Woo! The door! (9:09 a.m.)

9:10 – I’m in!

9:13 – No line for H-K. Woo!

9:19 – Done!

9.19 - Not fast enough to catch my ballot going in.
The machine sucked my ballot in faster than I could take a picture! (9:18 a.m.)

9:25 – I just got exit-polled by a third grader for a class project. When he marked down my presidential vote, he said “Dang! Not one vote yet for McCain!”

Since I am late for work anyway, I think I’m gonna stop at Starbucks for my free-for-voting coffee. And then maybe at Krispy Kreme for an also-free-for-voting donut. Enfranchisement is tasty!

9:38 – Free coffee? Check!

10:04 – Free donut? Denied! The Krispy Kreme by my office (this would be the Dupont shop, for those keeping track locally) is all out of the freebies, and doesn’t expect a delivery for an hour or so. Hmmm. Maybe a donut for dessert at lunch?

Updated to correct the location of my polling place — 12th & E, not 12th & C. (Given that I live at 12th & C and had to leave my home to vote, this should have been a bit more apparent to me.) I also fixed the name of the Shadow Senate guy, moved the photos into about where they fit chronologically, loaded the one photo that didn’t make it in real time, and added captions.

25 thoughts on “Vote! Vote! Vote!

  1. sprite November 4, 2008 / 8:36 am

    An hour total to get to the polling place, wait in line, vote, go to Krispy Kreme for our free voting doughnut, and then go to Starbucks for our free voting coffee. Not bad at all…

  2. sprite November 4, 2008 / 8:44 am

    Yeah, those electioneering at our polling location were Jack Evans, Carol, Michael Brown, and Patrick Mara. The Kwame folks were just showing up as we left.

  3. Eileen November 4, 2008 / 9:09 am

    We’re I there, I would be right with you in line but am I the only one who sees a bit of humor in waiting on line for an hour and a half to vote in a place that will go 96% democratic come hell or high water? BTW, sis, I am VERY PROUD of you for getting up and out at 7:30. The down side to having blogged that, is now your boss knows it is actually possible 😉

  4. common loon November 4, 2008 / 9:09 am

    also free…scoop of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream between 5-8 pm

  5. Sionna November 4, 2008 / 9:12 am

    I actually voted at 6:30 this morning. One of the few perks to rural living is the lack of long lines at the polling place. And I did pass on the Girl Scout baked goods table. That hurt a little. 😉

    But don’t be fooled. I am pleased to report that the traffic was steady coming in. The polling places in upstate New York are rockin and rollin! We don’t have the lines but the crowds are there.

    I have never in my life been so enthusiastic to vote. I feel bad for my 17yo stepdaughter who won’t be 18 until July. She is so mad that she cannot vote. I hope she carries this enthusiasm into upcoming election years.

  6. Mom November 4, 2008 / 9:38 am

    No long lines in rural Bing either — I walked in at 8:20 and was back in the car by 8:30 — the poll watcher, whom I know, said business was really brisk at opening and people are very sure of themselves this year — in/out — they’ve made up their minds!!!

    I was dismayed this morning, tho, that the political ads are still on t.v. I like the old days better when that was not allowed on election day. At least no campaign signs are allowed on the school grounds 🙂

  7. Joanne November 4, 2008 / 9:39 am

    The T family will go vote after lunch. There is just no point in standing in a line with a toddler and a colicky baby!

    Sarah, I wish we could transport your precinct to VA and make them count! I think VA is going to be close today. Makes me nervous.

  8. Mom November 4, 2008 / 10:11 am

    The line for the free donut will probably be L O N G E R !!

  9. Chris November 4, 2008 / 10:49 am

    The line was three people deep here in Houston – and one of those folks was Eileen.

  10. common loon November 4, 2008 / 11:12 am

    I’m about to pack 2 of the 3 kids onto the bike and head out (nothing like an extra 80 pounds on a post-surgery leg). Just drove by our polling place and I don’t think I’d be able to get a parking spot – looks MOBBED!!! Just gotta get those coloring books and snacks ready…oh, and the really tough decision: to leave the unlocked bike outside the only Starbucks (inside Target) for a free coffee?

    @ Joanne: Not so fast…the word is VA may just go your way, which will be rather historic, eh? And anyways, there’s been much hype about voter fraud, so if VA goes Democrat, let’s have them do it w/o controversy.

    @ Aunt Mary: SO VERY MUCH agree about the ads!!! I actually turned on the TV for the morning weather, thinking, “at last no ads!” I was crushed. Our senate race has been so beyond ugly, I’m very excited for it to be over.

  11. Mom November 4, 2008 / 11:14 am

    @ Chris: Are Texans afraid to vote for fear of reprisals from their “favorite” resident??

  12. Eileen November 4, 2008 / 11:21 am

    So as Chris noted…no line in TX. And only 200 people had been to the polling place by about 9:15 (polls open at 7). Trying to hope that people voted early or absentee (lots of old folks in the neighborhood). Of course, Texas is a bit like the district – my vote feels less important somehow here as the outcome is in little doubt…if only I still lived in Virginia!

  13. Mom November 4, 2008 / 11:34 am

    I am with Loon — hoping HARD that there are no vote tallying snafus that lead to unrelenting controversy and spoil the whole thing. I also wish I had the confidence that “the outcome is in little doubt” ….

  14. Chris November 4, 2008 / 1:17 pm

    Mary, sounds like the Democrats are the ones trying to suppress the vote (see Black Panthers, Philadelphia).

    Not sure about Harris County, but Tarrant County (Dallas) reports 53% of registered voters showed up during early voting. So, no, I don’t think Texans are afraid to vote.

  15. common loon November 4, 2008 / 2:09 pm

    A very pleasant experience was had here. The place was PACKED, but there were so many election judges and booths that I was in & out. And your middle nephew assisted in the election process (recruited by an election judge). His role? Carry empty ballot folders across the room to the other election judge. Youngest nephew? He just said “hi” to everybody that put a ballot in the box and “helped” hand out the I voted stickers. Aloowed Mom to vote in peace, so it was all good. DH is there now, and wants to phone in what number his vote was.

  16. Joanne November 4, 2008 / 2:15 pm

    The T family has voted. No line, we walked in and out. We were #434 and 435 in our line. Sophia got to push the button on Daddy’s touch screen machine and to help Mommy put her paper ballot in the optical scan machine. We are all proudly sporting our stickers.

    And we bought cupcakes from the kindergarten bake sale fundraiser. Yum.

  17. common loon November 4, 2008 / 2:23 pm

    DH was #1667. That bodes very well for turnout!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Joanne November 4, 2008 / 2:48 pm

    BTW, if the Shadow Senator candidate’s proposal ever succeeded, I think I could finally convinced Jesse to move into the District…

  19. susan November 4, 2008 / 5:05 pm

    I was #107 at 7:45 this morning…J. was #743 @5:00…which is HUGE here! To think I whined to the girls about the 10 people in line in front of me. I am impressed with the dedication of the city voters…though I usually don’t agree with their voting 🙂

    @Sarah and your exit poll…McCain won in a landslide at the girls elementary school….497 to 103. Ahhh…the blue state red state divide. Well…at least one of us will be happy tomorrow!! 🙂

  20. Mom November 4, 2008 / 5:53 pm

    I was #275 in just our little district on the south side — there are 5 on just the SS of Bing., with no wait at 8:20 am. Tonight on my drive by the are lined up out on the tarmac outside the building, that means packing two long corridors in the school to boot! IMPRESSIVE TURNOUT.

  21. common loon November 4, 2008 / 6:24 pm

    @ oldest nephew’s kindergarten, there were 7 secret votes for vanilla ice cream and 6 secret votes for chocolate. 2 votes were not allowed as the students did not follow proper ballot instructions. Just shows that there are problems no matter who votes or for what. Oh…and one voter was absent, which accounts for his failure to cast a ballot.

  22. susan November 4, 2008 / 7:06 pm

    BTW…sad news about rural voting…closest Krispy Kreme…38 miles away. Closest Starbucks…18 miles. Ben and Jerry’s…unknown. Oh well. I got a sticker…

  23. Mom November 4, 2008 / 7:49 pm

    NO STICKERS here at all! Vanilla -vs- Chocolate — oh my Loon! That’s kind of scary!!! No Krispy Kreme here in Bing AT ALL,Susan. Starbucks right next to my office; as far as I know, no bonus there either. Ben & Jerry’s is in the frozen dairy case at the local grocery. Can’t imagine any freebies there either. Hmmmmmmm. Guess our locations aren’t big enuf! Apparently you have to stand in long lines to get a bonus……

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