I just went and voted. My polling place was blocks away and I took the kids with me. The polling place was staffed by 4 older women, one using an oxygen tank.
There were 4 people in line ahead of me and only one voting booth. It was one of the old style voting booths with the curtain, levers and gears. It's probably the same one my mom used when I was just a young lad. I took the kids with me because unlike my voting experience in California where they wouldn't let the kids watch me vote, up here in Rochester they don't mind at all.
I don't understand why California is a bunch of Nazi's when it comes to teaching kids something. It must be the general socialist outlook or the way California likes to stand in the way of kids learning something. Out there it was a paper ballot with a little poker to push through it and they wouldn't let the kids near me even though it was in separate cubicles. Were they afraid the kids would break something? It was a plastic poker and plastic little box you put the ballot in. I asked them multiple times if the kids could come and they denied me. So when I went to vote for President there in 2004 I didn't wait for the kids to get home from school.
New York was much friendlier.
We squeezed into the booth and closed the curtain. I explained to them the horizontal rows were which party a candidate is in and the vertical rows are the office they are running for. We went one by one and I let them flip the switches down that I pointed at. We had particular joy in voting against this one obnoxious lady here who has been sending us daily flyers in the mail, running ads on the radio and TV and generally pissing us off.
We finished up and pulled the lever to open the curtain. I showed them how the levers had all reset.
They took their stickers from the poll worker and we headed out.
One thing California has over New York is their voter information guides. It contained each race, who was running for the office, their party and a statement on their stance. It also had information on any ballot measures and statements for and against the measure.
Out here in New York you're basically flying blind. I received nothing in the mail from the election board even though I also voted in the primary. As a matter of fact other than the initial mailing I received for the primary that contained my polling place I have received nothing. I spent time online tracking down information on the election, the candidates and other information. It would have been nice to have that all in one place, even if it was just an online voter guide and not a printed one.
The weather wasn't bad, with just some dark clouds and a sprinkle that was almost non-existent. In general I enjoyed heading over there and making sure that my kids know what voting is, what it's for and how easy it is. I have a feeling some people think it's some overwhelming experience and they're hesitant to actually go if they've never been before.
To all of you parents out there, bring your kids, get them involved, show them that there is still the potential for one person to have a voice.