How we voted


I posted this elsewhere, but it makes me happy and I want to remember it. So I’m posting it here too.

It was a warm and sunny day for November, so Emily and I decided to walk to our polling place — The town hall / library / post office is about a mile down the road. It took a while to get our act together enough to leave the house — she needed to shower, I needed to eat, Stellan needed to eat, she needed to eat, I needed to shower, he needed to eat again, etc… it wasn’t until about two o’clock that I finally slung him over my shoulder (we have a stroller, but it seemed silly to drive down the road to where the pavement starts) and we had a pleasant walk through town.

On the way we passed a snowmobile for sale ($300), another snowmobile for sale ($200), and two 1950’s trucks for sale, one pickup, the other dump. (I don’t remember how much they cost.)

The polling place was staffed by five little old ladies, all of whom cooed over Stellan. I’m pretty sure they’re the same five little old ladies who are there for every election. There was no line, though there was one voter just arriving as we left, and two voters just leaving as we arrived, who also cooed over Stellan. Stellan spent most of this time asleep.

Ballots in our town are simple folded sheets of paper with a square next to each printed name; to vote you draw an X using those little pencils you get at the mini golf place. They then go into an ancient-looking wooden box with an ornate handcrank and a mechanical counter on top. We were voters number 223 and 224 (in a town of population 700; I don’t know whether that indicates unusually high turnout by that time of day or not.)

On the way home Stellan got hungry and Emily got tired, so I walked up to the house and drove back down with the jeep to pick them up. Last thing I did before coming back up to the house was check the mailbox, in which was this perfect summary of my feelings about this election.

This was the first election in which everyone I voted for won, everything I voted for passed, and everything I voted against didn’t (except for prop 3, which I didn’t really have strong feelings about). As a MetaFilter commenter put it: “it’s a good day in Massachusetts to be a pot-smoking racing greyhound who knows it’s his civic duty to pay income taxes.”

It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve felt hopeful about our government, instead of deeply ashamed. There’s a long road to go, yet, but this was a damn good first step.