Putting The Suffering In Suffrage

Posted By on October 31, 2008

Right now, I should be packing. I’m leaving in the morning to drive to Minnesota to visit my friend Julie. And I’m really looking forward to it!

I had planned to post the answers to the questions for Bacon today. But then I was out of the house a majority of the afternoon and now am just too tired to do anything. I am so screwed when I go back to work and am expected to be alert and productive for at least eight hours a day. Four hours out of the house doing mostly nothing has made me exhausted. Only four hours.

So today I went to get my eyebrows waxed in preparation for my big trip and for my interviews next week. I figured since I would already be out and showered, I would go and vote. It was the last day of early voting and since I have 2 interviews on Election Day, I figured this was the easiest way to knock it out. Plus, I needed to walk past the polling place on the way to the bus to go pick up my rental car for the weekend.

When I turned the corner by the park, I was shocked at what I saw. I saw a line stretching out the door and around the building. I took my place in line and was so thankful that I put my book in my purse at the last minute before I left the house. As I stood there, I overheard some chatter about the wait. Thinking that the line wasn’t that long and that this place should be prepared, I figured it would be about 30-45 minutes.

I was wrong. I was dead, dead wrong.

I got there around 2:30. Some guy passing out flyers told us he had heard it was about a two hour wait from where we were standing. TWO HOURS! On a Thursday afternoon! Why aren’t any of these people at work? Are all these people unemployed too? If so, then why do they look so put together like they shower every day? I bet they don’t ever forget to brush their teeth!

With a two-hour wait staring me in the face, I didn’t know what to do. I figured I could see how it went and if it seemed that it would really take two hours, I could always jump out of line and go on Tuesday. But my polling place on Election Day is a small site. And if there are this many people here early voting, how many other people haven’t voted?

So I stuck it out. I dove into my book and I shuffled along. It did take two hours. And I know I shouldn’t complain. I mean, women fought for this right so many years ago, the right to stand on their feet for two hours to be able to cast their vote for elected officials. People in Florida have had to wait even longer. And really, how amazing is the turnout? Already, before today, over 300,000 people in Chicago have early voted. That is impressive. They are expecting record turnouts. This is a monumental election!

But I’m a selfish cow, so yeah, I’m going to complain. Because my feet are still killing me. It was 100 degrees in that little building. Want to know why internet? Because the park district building turned their heat on earlier in the week, instead of holding out until November. And guess what? It was like in the 60s today and is supposed to be near 70 tomorrow. See why I don’t turn the heat on until it gets really cold? Losing toes to frostbite be damned!

I also want to complain because of how poorly the process was executed in the polling place. This location was all touch screen voting booths. There were about 6-8 actual booths. Filling out the ballot didn’t take too long, minus all the county judges that were up for re-election. Why isn’t there a “Yes To All” button?

Well, they would bring five people in at a time. The longest part wasn’t the actual voting, it was having the people find your information in the computer and activate your card for the touch screen. There were only TWO people doing that in the room. I’m pretty sure, Chicago Board of Elections, we don’t need five people telling us how to fill out a form. Maybe we need more people doing the time-consuming part. Things would have moved a lot faster.

Obviously, I’m glad I voted and it is over and I don’t have to worry about fitting it in on election day. But standing on my feet for two hours really took all of my energy. And when I left, about 30 minutes before the cut off, there was a line even longer. Those people at the end of that line were excited about voting. They had the chipper look in their eyes of having not been beat down by line-standing all day. Little did they know they had about a three-hour wait ahead of them. (Because, in case you didn’t know, as long as you are in line before the polls close, you are allowed to cast your vote. Do not let anyone tell you different. And don’t let a line close to closing time deter you from doing your civic duty!)

There were even news cameras there to document all the waiting we all did. Thankfully they didn’t interview me and then post the news clip on the internet so people could comment and tell me how much I suck for voting and how lame I am for waiting in line. (No. That isn’t going to get old any time soon.)

So let this be a lesson to all of you – if my lazy ass can wait patiently in line for two hours to do my civic duty, none of you have any excuses. All of you, remember to get out there and vote on November 4th. Have any voting questions? Go here to find out all the information you need to be prepared when you vote. But whatever you do, just vote. Be a part of history. Help make a change for the future. VOTE.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


26 Responses to “Putting The Suffering In Suffrage”

  1. rye says:

    Good job! I am so jealous that you get to vote early … Virginia is one of those backwards states that doesn’t allow it – boo!

    ryes last blog post..problem solved

  2. jodifur says:

    You are scaring me. We don’t have early voting and I have to vote on Tuesday w/ Michael b/c his preschool is closed. I’m gearing up for hours.

    Obama ’08!

    jodifurs last blog post..Shoe friday #3

  3. ali says:

    i guess i should be thankful all i have to do is mail in my absentee ballot, eh?

    (but i don’t get a cute little ‘i voted’ sticker)

    alis last blog post..oh what a night…this sex is on fire…

  4. This is why I’m happy that NH still has you draw a little line to your candidate in Sharpie. Two seconds, in and out!

    nancypearlwannabes last blog post..Testing… Testing…

  5. Ree says:

    Michigan doesn’t do early voting, either… damn. But I’ll be there – trying to get in line at 6 a.m.

    Rees last blog post..The One Where I Ramble. Again.

  6. Mahnee says:

    I apparently lucked out with the early voting and got there during a lull..it got really crowded as I was leaving but HURRAY for early voting.

    Of course, some in Chicago would say we’ve been doing this sort of thing for years….vote early…and often!

  7. Matt says:

    “Why isn’t there a “Yes To All” button?”

    Actually, what I want is a “No To All” button – I always vote no for every judge, due to the way that judge elections work (a non-vote counts as a yes, and since most people skip the judge voting, it means most judges stay on the bench for a very very long time). I believe no matter who the judge, it’s not a bad idea to toss ’em out every now and again. That being said, I usually do a little research on the judges and if there’s one I really like I won’t vote no.

    Of course, since I voted in Lisle the other day and know nothing about the local judges, I voted No for all of them. Toss the bums out!

    Matts last blog post..Tweets for today

  8. I have complained about our apartment in the ghetto until I realized it is polling site! This means I can roll outta bed at 7am in my jammies to vote. Laziness be damned, I will vote! Plus, Good Morning America had this bit about a black woman born in 1899 who voted, so I am all “If a 103 year old can do it…”

    thecoconutdiariess last blog post..The One Where I Swear I’m Not Fishing for Encouragement, Compliments, or Cash

  9. Candy says:

    I’m very proud of you. Two hours??? Hell man. I am planning to go at 7:00AM on Tuesday (we don’t have early voting here, that I know of) and if it’s a 2 hour wait, I guess I’ll be late for work.

    Still, it’s awfully exciting isn’t it? I’ve been the only person in my voting place some years.

    Candys last blog post..Some Tidbits

  10. pseudostoops says:

    Yesterday I heard the lines were AWFUL since it was the last day of early voting- I voted downtown at the county building over a week ago, and waited 45 minutes even then! And while it’s kind of a hassle, it was also really awesome to see so many people getting excited about this election.

    pseudostoopss last blog post..Halloween jitters (that have nothing to do with Halloween)

  11. Kathy says:

    Don’t blame the workers, blame the system! 🙂 (I’m a poll worker (in charge of my precinct)

    Kathys last blog post..Dressing Up

  12. Noelle says:

    My polling location opens at 6am on voting day. (We have no early voting around here.) So I guess I’ll hit the road early so I can make it to work.

    Also, I really have to see what else is on the ballot locally, because I don’t want to stand there forever trying to figure out which judge has the most electable name.

    Noelles last blog post..Boo!

  13. Janice says:

    I waited an hour and 1/2 to vote early yesterday. I actually dressed up instead of my sweats and bandana just because I had someone to go and people to see other than my pals at Target. I wore a bra, not a sports bra- was laid off in August and I can count on one hand how many times I have done that since then. And then proudly wore my “I voted early” sticker as I headed over to Target. It was quite the day in unemployed land.

  14. Matt says:

    Funny blog post about a friend of mine voting in her Halloween costume today that I thought you would appreciate:


  15. Darcey says:

    I tried to go earlier this week, but my battery died in my car, so I had to wait to have that fixed, then a site my company is launching went into testing… whine, excuse, blah, blah, blah.

    I’m getting my ass up early to vote on Tuesday. ‘Nuff said.

  16. I wish I COULD vote. Instead, I’m going to make a large batch of cupcakes and write VOTE on each one and then bring them into my office. That’s kind of doing my civic duty too, right?

    Nothing But Bonfiress last blog post..And We Don’t Care About The Young Folks

  17. Julie says:

    Yay for you!!! That had to be tough, but you sucked it up. Wow, it’s so inspiring to hear how many are opting for the early vote in Chi-town. I’ll spread the word here, too, that people should EXPECT long lines on Tuesday. Thx for the heads up.

  18. bikerchick says:

    Good for you! And yes, it’s exhausting under any circumstances. I early voted at 3 pm on a Tuesday afternoon and waited only 15 mins or so, but had the same experience of bureacracy at its finest– 3 people telling you what to expect, and 1 person actually doing it. Sheesh. But I’m glad I don’t have to do so on Tuesday. Hey good luck with your interviews!

  19. Jackee says:

    It’s great to do your civic duty, but Kristabella, you forgot the Bacon answers. I love me some bacon and I was hoping to get a fat free fix on your post.

    Jackees last blog post..Halloween – Office Style

  20. Rhi says:

    SO GLAD that Oregon is a vote-by-mail state.

    Rhis last blog post..NaBloPoMo Day 1: Another unfortunate side effect

  21. marty says:

    Yes! I live in Chicago, too, and voted last Saturday. I went with my husband, and it was so annoying to have to wait an hour and a half to for the two of us to cancel out each other’s vote. (I thought about the two of us just pledging to each other not to vote at all, but we wanted to do our civic duty. Plus, he’s sneaky.)

    Hi, by the way! I love your blog!

    martys last blog post..General Whining: Work Edition

  22. Lori says:

    I hear ya – I waited 2.5hrs to vote in the primary! So then I decided to do it by mail thsi time around. Can’t wait until Tue – have fun with JRC!

  23. Kristie says:

    Good for you for waiting! I went early last week and waited in line maybe 10 minutes and every day since then the place I went to has had lines out the door with long ass lines.

    Kristies last blog post..After the candy high went away

  24. Elle Charlie says:

    Waiting while standing just sucks. I wish they had # things, like at the DMV, so you could rest and read a book sitting down until they call your #.

    Good job sticking it out though!

    Elle Charlies last blog post..A little love goes a long way

  25. Scarlet says:

    I’m getting there are like 530am tomorrow=/

    I read that other site…HILARIOUS that a flier was sent out saying election day had changed.

    Scarlets last blog post..Scared

  26. Darcie says:

    YAY!!! I am so excited to be on this blog!! I am so not tech savvy…I am a posting virgin 🙂

    Mmmm….I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin. And I love Sarah Palin. LOVE LOVE LOVE her.
    I don’t want to argue, I have reasons. Just thought it should be known! I voted on voting day…no line. I was disturbed to find out that I didn’t have to show ID, but maybe that’s just Naperville….
    Anyways, peace and prosperity to all – I can be a gracious loser 🙂