I Voted

Posted: October 27, 2008 in Nitegator

Today I early voted at the Bishop Byrne’s location. I must say that this was the longest time I have ever waited in line to vote. I got there around 10:55 with the intentions of standing in line for around 45 minutes. That was a quick thought looking at the zig zagged line inside the building.

The voting area is in the cafeteria and the students was just finishing the lunch break. A conversation with a young lady behind me started by joking about how long we would be in line, she told me that she this was her third time attempting to vote, the other two times was too long a waiting time, those location was on Knight Arnold and the other was on Hacks Cross, so she decided to just endure the wait this time.

Slowly the line moved and I finally got past the large doors which only changed the temperature of the area by 3 or 4 degrees, making the standing area around 55 degrees. The next group of students came in and started lunch, the lady behind me was showing me some photos of her newborn when all of a sudden BOOM, SCREAMS, OH MY GODS came from behind us. An older lady, around 85 fell down the steps of the room, see the area we were standing in is around 45 feet long and around 8 feet wide with 4 steps down to the floor, the only rails are the ones used to walk up and down the steps, leaving the area open, the line zig zagged making the open step area parallel to the standing line, she must have had her back to the steps or did not know that there were steps there. I tell you she hit the floor hard. Around 8 people rushed to her side, making sure she was ok, they did show concern and got her to a chair. One of the officials made the statement that those that need to hold on the rails need to know where they (the rails) are. She had a kind of nasty attitude with the situation. Another lady about 80 people in front of me yelled ‘its to late to say something like that now’. I didn’t say anything out loud but I did say to the lady behind me that they should let this lady go ahead and vote so she can leave and check herself for bruises. To my surprise that’s what they did, everyone was ok with the decision, they helped her to the voting booth and she casted her votes and they helped her out the building, by this time a new group of students was entering the lunch room.

There is my cousin, I couldn’t get her attention, she was too busy chatting with her classmates, I pointed her out to the lady behind me, by this time we was talking about Overton High School, I graduated in 84, she graduated in 98, this part of our conversation was about the school gifted students.

The time now was about 12: 45, im about the 25 person to the booths, when one of the officials came by, to make sure we had 1 form of identification out, I had my drivers licenses, some how the conversation changed to why some of the large churches in the city, didn’t have voting stations and open voter registrations, I said something about non profit status and some other bull these big churches do. Im getting closer to the booths now, around 8 people in front of me. Now im thinking who am I going to vote for this time, I don’t have a problem with either candidate, being I don’t like either one, so I tell the lady behind me im going to write in my name for President like I did with the Mayors elections, (I did get 7 votes for Memphis Mayor).

Im next, I go in to verify my address, yeah its me, I signed my name on the line and off to booth 1, I voted for X, hit next then six charter amendments come up, now these are electronic booths 1) Term limits of two consecutive terms for Memphis mayor and city council
2) Stagger city council terms
3) Suspend with pay any city council member indicted or charged with official misconduct
4) Instant run-off elections for district council and city school board elections
5) Mandate voter approval for the sale of MLGW
6) Make city council chairman acting mayor if elected mayor resigns or leaves office.
I got these from the city election site. I can’t tell you how I voted on these (actually I don’t remember) but I did make serious decisions about these because they effect Memphis operations. I recap my choices, and then casted by ballot. Click the little care came out and I handed it to the official that was standing near.

As im walking out im looking at the 2 hour wait that I just experienced and thought, dame! if its 2 hours now how many hours will a person have to wait on election day. there were around 200 people in the line as I left, of course it around 1:15 and I had to consider some people are off work. I would like to think of a way voting can be easier, less waiting time or something. Anyway I did vote. Exercised my civil rights, fore fill the dreams of some old ghosts, and finally got this day behind me.

What voting experience have you had?

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