Tuesday, November 2, 2004

I did my part!

I decided to vote this morning before going to work. In Illinois, the polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM. My polling place is at a new school in my subdivision so I drove over there at 6:20 AM to spend a few minutes voting. I knew I was in trouble when I saw all the cars in the parking lot and was further bothered when I saw a line snaking out the door.

Did I mention that it was drizzling and in the 40s this morning? Of course, my place in line was not covered and I wasn't wearing a topcoat.

We've lived in our house for 10 years and our original polling place was a high school that was several miles away. Our precinct consisted of scattered subdivisions, rural farmland and forest preserves so we rarely waited in line to vote. As the population of Chicago expands westward, our area is becoming more and more urban with all the associated congestion. Apparently, everyone had the same idea about voting early (and often!) so I got in line and waited. There was one large line with no signs or instructions regarding where our precinct poll was located (there were two precincts at our polling location). Finally, one of the election volunteers came out and steered several of us to the correct line. I ran into a neighbor who, at 6:45 AM, was finally voting after arriving just as the polls opened. I finally voted at 7:15 AM and as I walked out, the line was much longer than when I arrived.

I'm not sure what to make of this as there are no hotly contested races going on in Illinois. The state was conceded to Kerry several months ago and our Senatorial "race" will be one-sided. (The Illinois Republican Party forced the original nominee, Jack Ryan, to withdraw from the race after some nasty stuff was revealed from his sealed divorce papers.)

Must be the race for the county weed control board that's drawing the crowd!

I'll be watching the news tonight (and probably into the wee hours of the morning) to see who wins. Maybe it will be like 4 years ago when the Supreme Court decided our new president.