taylweaver: (Default)
There is still, as always, something special about stepping inside that voting machine and throwing the huge lever across to sink in your vote. There is something even more special about casting a vote in what will be, either way, a historic Election Day. Everywhere I go, I hear stories about people who woke up when the polls opened, who waited an hour in lines that stretched around the block, or snaked back and forth until they were four layers deep. I arrived at my polling place at 4:30 pm, and it was set up as it always is. My district (all of once city block) still votes in the same place in the same room. There were six or seven people ahead of me - a pretty short line - though it still took about 15 minutes to get up to me. But since my district is all of one city block, it should be no surprise that the person ahead of me in line lives in my building, so we stood there chatting.

The poll worker told me that in all the years she has been doing this, it has never been so busy. That just made it feel even more special. To be able to vote in an election like this one.

I do hope it turns out the way I want it to. Ideally by tomorrow morning and not a month from now. (Yeah, I got to vote in *that* election too. Eight years ago today was the first time I ever voted.)

I cast my vote around sunset, even though it was not yet five pm. Apparently, election day now also means fall and winter to me. The weather was mild, but there were leaves on the ground, I noticed for the first time this season. It made me a bit contemplative, to emerge at 4:50 from the school where I vote and note how it was already getting dark.

Then, I came home and wrote 2,000 words of novel. Despite the 2,000 I had to un-write last night to fix a plot problem (had to backtrack), I am already past the 10,000 word mark. A fifth of the way there, and enjoying it immensely.
taylweaver: (Default)
There is something very satisfying about grabbing a big red lever and pulling it across the voting booth in one big, sweeping movement. It makes you feel like your vote has truly been tallied.

It is also nostalgic for me, as it brings back memories of when I was a child, and my mother took me with her into the voting booth. In NJ - at least where my family voted - they used the same machines with the levers - a little lever by each name, and a big red lever across the bottom. In NJ, the big lever also controlled the curtain - when the vote was cast, the curtain would open, and then it would close again when the next person pulled the lever back. When I was little, my mother would cast her votes with the little levers - I either couldn't or didn't care to read the names, but I remember the little levers. Then came the best part of all: when she was done casting her votes, my mother let me pull across the big red lever. Maybe this happened a few times; maybe it only happened once. But it made me really excited about voting. My mother, through that one simple act, made voting seem like a very cool thing to do.

When I went to vote for the first time as an actual voter, I was away at college. I will admit that i did not vote when I was 18 - I was in Israel, and since it was not a Presidential year, I didn't follow what was going on from overseas. I also made a conscious decision not to vote when I was 19. That was because it was an off-year - only local elections, and I was voting at school, where I was not really part of the local community. College students could have swayed that election - but what right did we have, as transient residents in a more permanent community? So I voted for the first time when I was 20. And I have voted every year since, as far as I can remember.

When I went to vote at college, there was no big red lever. True, the machine was almost the same - but a more updated version. Where the machine from my childhood had levers, this one had touch-sensitive boxes. If you pressed once, a green "x" showed up. If you pressed again, it disappeared. And I was disappointed to see that there was certainly no great big red lever - only a great big button to press when you had finished. Yes, I voted, but it just wasn't the same.

So when I moved to New York, I was very excited to find that the voting machines where I vote are like the ones from my childhood. I hope they don't rush to update them to the computer ones - because there is no more satisfying way to vote than by locking it in with the pull of the big red lever.
taylweaver: (Default)
So today was Election Day.

Do you know what first comes to mind when I think about Election Day?
Is it exercising my right to vote?
Is it my opinions of the mayor and other candidates?
Is it having a say in our democratic system?

No, no and no.

I hear Election Day and what do I think?

Professional Development.

Schools are polling places. Students get off from school. Teachers get a professional development day.

This meant I also got - you guessed it - actually, when asked, [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer really DID guess it - a free tote bag. It's purple. lavendar, really.
And I got a squashy brain somewhere in there too. (no, not MY brain. You know, one of those stress ball thingies?)

Anyway, last night, thinking Election Day meant thinking about where I needed to go today - and realizing I didn't really know where I was going or when I needed to be there - well, I had a general sense - and it was too late to call anyone, so I panicked because I was sure I had received an e-mail, only it was nowhere to be found and I had no memory of having deleted it. I spent nearly an hour looking for it and then freaking out when I couldn't find it or any other information pertaining to it online.

Many thanks to RL for keeping me semi-sane, and for finding a map for me online - the very same map I finally found on the back of the page that had, indeed, been sent to me - via the old fashioned method of sticking a stamp on it and putting it into a mailbox. It was sitting on a pile on my floor. (Yes, yes, I know. Need to finish moving in... it's only been two months...)

And thus I lost an hour of sleep time.

RL also told me which trains to take and how much time she thought I would need to get there. Turns out, I had extra time, so thank you to her for that too, because I managed to confuse the trains a bit and didn't get off the C train quite when I needed to, but nevermind. Suffice it to say that unlimited metrocards come in handy when one has to move from the downtown track to the uptown track and it involves going aboveground.

Anyway, professional development was interesting. The speaker was both informative and entertaining - and she wrote one of my grad school textbooks. It was not as practical as I would have liked, but I still learned a lot, and would you believe that I took 15 pages of notes? And by that I mean I covered both sides of fifteen pages - so that is really 30. Yes, I am that crazy about my note taking.

Then I came home and remembered - thankfully - that I needed to vote, so I finally pulled out the voter guide and started reading about the candidates so that I could at least pretend to be informed. I also read about the four propositions.

I went to vote around 5:30 and - don't ask me how this happened - there was no line. But really, I only half-voted, because just after I pulled the lever back I realized that though I had made absolutely sure I voted for the candidates I wanted, my eyes never quite left the left side of the ballot - I forgot to vote on the propositions.

Oops.

Oh well.

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