OMG! Early Voting
We have a thing called Early Voting here in Texas. It replaced absentee voting and it means that something like 10 days before any election and for about a week, you can go to any of several designated places and vote. When they first started it, I was a bit of a traditionalist and wanted to vote *on* Election Day. And often I still do that. (On the other hand, DS went and voted on the first day of early voting.) However, with the Texas primary this year, it became obvious that voting early would be a good idea.
So last night DH and I sat down at our own computers, in our own “offices”, and made our lists of who we wanted to vote for (or against) in the Democratic primary. Today we met at the nearest early voting place. And waited in line. It actually took about an hour to get to the voting machines. I think it’s the first time I’ve waited in line for early voting. Normally we have to wake the election judges up in order to vote.
But we finally got in. On comparing notes, we’ve split on most of the races where I wasn’t sure. And we split on the Presidential nominees. The main ones I was most not sure about were our county District Attorney and our Tax Assessor-Collector. We’re electing a new DA for the first time in 31 or 32 years (I’ve seen both numbers). I have never been a big fan of the incumbent, so his choice had a strike against her from the beginning. Nothing I read convinced me otherwise. Another woman running has raised a great deal of money and is saying all the right things, but it turns out a lot of her money comes from lobbyists. Normally that wouldn’t matter, but we are the capitol city and our local DA’s office is responsible for investigating corruption at the state level (and the Tom Delay level, too) and I’m not excited about her being funded by lobbyists. However, DH liked what she had to say.
The Tax Assessor-Collector is an odd race for there to be a controversy in. Normally I couldn’t even tell you who held the office, though she’s held it for some years now. Personally, I had no problem with her. But then some ads began appearing on TV for a man, Glen Maxey, who used to be a state representative. He was our first (and only) openly gay legislator and I was pissed when our Republican legislature gerrymandered him out of office. And for reasons that were not clear to me, he seemed to be seriously angry with the Tax Assessor-Collector. Upon looking things up, he seems to be saying that the TAC (cause how many times do I want to type that out?) can refuse vehicle registration to “deadbeat dads” (and presumably moms as well) as part of an attempt to collect child support, and she hasn't done that. (The state agency that’s supposed to help collect child support in this state has been seriously overwhelmed for decades and the good Republicans running the legislature don’t seem to want to do anything about it.) And he says that the current TAC supported the recent attempt by those same good Republicans to suppress voting rights in our state, which, since she’s a black woman, seems curious. He says she didn’t understand the ramifications, which I suppose is possible, except that there were a *lot* of discussions about it that she should have heard. Anyway, I went with my impression of Maxey as being a fundamentally fair, honest, and honorable politician, at least as much as is possible for a politician. DH was disturbed by the angry tone of the TV ads, felt that he hadn’t made a good case against her, so voted for her.
I have a shrug for both races.
When I finished voting, I took pictures with my PDA of the line outside the grocery store, which was even longer than when we got there, but they were all blue. So I won’t post them. But there was someone, a photojournalist of some sort, I suspect for the newspaper since it didn’t look like a video camera, that was taking pictures of the line, too.
I’m really glad we did vote early, since if the lines are this long today, I can only imagine how long they’ll be on Tuesday! And I think I’m going to skip the precinct convention. I’ve done it a couple of times, and gone to the county convention a couple of times, and I’ve never found it to be a good use of my time. (Besides, as DH says, we’d just be canceling out each other’s vote for the Presidential delegates.(g)) The precinct gathering is supposed to start at 7:15 pm or after the last voter has voted. Since anyone in line at 7:00 pm is allowed to vote and the line at that time is liable to be a record, there’s no telling when the thing would actually start! We’re getting a record turn-out in early voting here in our county and I think the entire state, so Tuesday night will be a zoo. And I think they ought to declare the day a school holiday. A lot of the polling places are schools (ours is) and with that many people roaming the halls, I doubt a lot of work will get done, anyway.
But it was after we voted that the excitement began.
The grocery store we went to has a Starbucks attached, so I brought my Starbucks/credit card with me. DH went and bought us both coffee, which we enjoyed. Then, when I got home, I went to take the card out of my pocket, only to discover it wasn’t there.
I immediately drove back to the store and looked all over and asked all over for it. But there was no sign of it. More panic! I called DH to see if he’d start the process of canceling it and getting a new one. He said he thought maybe he’d put it in his jacket pocket and forgotten to give it to me. The jacket was in his car. He’d go check. Meanwhile, I drove home to await results and prepare to cancel the card and all that. And I waited. And waited. Finally I called his office, but there was no answer. I waited some more. Then I tried his cell phone, but they’d requested those be turned off at the polls and his was clearly still off. Waited some more. I began to wonder if he’d parked his car in an unusual spot, say, Houston. Or New Orleans. Maybe Waco. Finally I called and started to leave a message on his voice mail to say that if he didn’t call soon, he would have to pay to have me treated for the nervous breakdown I was having. (I panic real good. It’s one of my better skills.) He immediately picked up the phone and said that indeed the card had been in his pocket and he’d gotten distracted before he got back to his desk.
My mother would have (verbally) killed him and wondered, in loud and strong and slightly hysterical tones, why he didn’t take his cell phone with him to the car and call from there, didn’t he know how worried she was, and how inconsiderate he was to leave her hanging like that?!? However, I recognize that I should have asked for my card back and kept good track of it, so I’m partially responsible for the nervous breakdown. I’m hoping that by tomorrow, my heart rate will have returned to normal. For now I think I’ll knit and play my computer game. That should help.
Speak of which, I haven't worked on my water bottle cozies yet. I got four sock toes started and am working on them for the time being. I'm pretty happy with how they're turning out so far.