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Thursday, September 14, 2006 |
Hidden Primary

For the first time I voted in the primaries.

It was a liberating experience, for I realized that nobody votes in the primaries, and thus your vote counts even more then normal. It's actually very influential, for you are deciding the ballot that all those other lazy non-primary day voters have to choose from.

I had to work for my vote, however, for the polling place was hidden. Being a primary, the polling station decided to use smaller facilities inside the school building. I arrived with plenty of time, only the front door was locked. The registration card said to use the side door, which was also locked. The secondary side door was locked as well. There was a cop car out front, so I knew it was the right spot, but then the car was empty. And, of course, there were no signs. 10 minutes of knocking and repeated pulling on doors got me nowhere, until a passerby was nice enough to direct me to the rear. And sure enough, in a through an alley, and around a corner, marked by a tiny lit door, was the polling station.

I did not appreciate the cops giving me attitude about being late, there being no sign ANYWHERE to indicate where the polling station was. But then I got to my booth, and the dull worn red handle of democracy beckoned.

She was broken, the curtain didn't slide, the lights were off, and nearly everything was worn with age. But the clunk-chunk of mechanized vote counting, hundreds of pounds of steel turning away, melted away my stress. The lever goes left, I flip my switches, and savor the moment. I jam the lever right, and it's suddenly over.

And so I voted, and it felt damn good.

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