Thursday, October 30, 2008


Day 303/366: A Typical Portland Street Scene

I am all nerved up about this election, so much so that I'm having difficulty concentrating on work. I'm especially worried that people who want to vote aren't going to be able to cast their ballots. They'll show up at their polling place after work and there will be lines. Long lines. Longer than they've ever been before. Some people may decide that their one little vote doesn't matter and go home. Others may stick it out but not be able to get in before the polls close.

I know some states are allowing early voting. That's great in theory, but this little story from my brother in Illinois only fueled my fears.

"L and I tried to vote early last Saturday morning. The wait was over 2.5 hours. To make matters worse, the waiting line was in a narrow hallway lined with radiators making the temperature unbearable."

So they didn't stay. My brother is now going to wait until Election Day and is planning on voting before work. He'd better not leave this time. I don't care if he ends up sweating out half his body weight and doesn't make it to work until noon. I hope no one lets a line discourage them from voting. Have some patience and keep focused on the big picture, for crissake. This election is just way too important.

Oregonians, of course, get their ballots several weeks before Election Day and can mail them in or drop them in drop boxes at any time before the polls close on Election Day. A very sensible way of doing it. Plus, there's absolutely no excuse not to vote early, but plenty of people still wait until the last possible minute or end up not getting their ballots in on time. I don't get it.

Since I'm so jittery about all this, I am going to be out on the streets of Portland on Saturday and probably on Monday hounding* these folks who haven't turned in their ballots yet.


*In the nicest possible way, of course. Believe me, I'd rather not have to do this--it's way out of my comfort zone to have to knock on the doors of strangers--but I also want to do everything I can to make sure that every potential vote gets cast and counted.



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