Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting

I voted today! I get very excited at election time. I haven't been terribly pleased with the way things have been going government-wise and I adore the opportunity to get out there and get my vote counted.

If you have the ability to vote, but choose not to, don't let me find out about it. I will go on for hours about your responsibilities as an American citizen. If you are choosing not to vote I had better not ever, ever, ever hear you say one word about the government, the war, gun control, abortion, gay marriage, taxes, the school system, the roads, or even litter. You have given up your right to have an opinion. Every. Vote. Counts.

Unless you are a liberal. If you choose not to vote and you are a liberal - party on dude.

I had my first Hawaiian voting experience today. My polling place was at the National Guard Armory. I drove over immediately after leaving the gym. I was hoping to avoid the crowds but I went prepared with a book to read while I waited in line.

I drove up and immediately spotted the sign declaring that this was my polling place. I turned in, but saw a sign saying "NO POV'S BEYOND THIS POINT". Hmmmm. Well, I was driving a privately owned vehicle and the sign said "no", so I U-turned out and headed for a park-n-ride across the street. Then I had to walk back across the same street which was extremely close to the on-ramp of the highway. I skittered across between cars and headed up to the nearest building.

It was locked.

I headed back over to the "polling place" sign and read it more carefully. It had the word "gym" on it. I looked around for something that looked like a gym. My only option was to head through the fenced off area which had the "NO POV's" sign on it. Through that fence was another fence which had signs on it declaring that if I passed that way I would be trespassing on government property and would be prosecuted.

I turned to the right and entered a courtyard area, hoping to see someone who could point me in the right direction. There was not one person visible. I seriously considered leaving. I was ticked off that no one could put the voting booths in a visible place, or put signs pointing the right direction. But I feel very strongly about the importance of voting (did you notice?) so I stayed. But it did make me wonder if there might have been others who left in frustration.

I trekked back out to the "polling place" sign, read the word "gym" one more time, then took a deep breath and walked past all the signs telling me not to enter, and finally spotted the voting booths.

I politely informed the folks in charge that the number of signs telling me NOT to come this way made it very difficult to locate them. One of them mentioned that they had noticed the handicapped people huffing and puffing by the time they arrived with their canes and walkers. They went to look at the signs and mentioned covering them up or putting up new signs pointing the way.

I voted. I took my sweet time too. I read every bit to make sure I was understanding the full question and filling in the right box. No hanging chads for this gal.

Fifteen minutes later as I left, I noticed no signs had been covered, altered, or added. All the nice folks were sitting back at their tables. One of them was looking at me as I walked by and he did not return my smile.

But I voted anyway.

2 comments:

  1. You go girl!!! I did early voting to avoid the crowds!! One vote at a time we CAN change America!!
    Trina

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  2. Amy, my Bill (a National Guard soldier who used to work at armories), says the best course of action is to write a letter to the Adjudant Genral of Hawaii stating the problem. He (or she) is responsible for all the Guard armories in Hawaii. Be sure to mention how military folk are routinely disenfranchised when they are deployed or live in another state, and point out the irony that the military which fights for our freedom to vote is inadvertantly participating in preventing citizens from voting by these signs which are clearly not intended to apply on election day. Make sure you mention the folks with walkers. Did you see any wounded vets who had to make the hike? That would be a great image with which to press the point.

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