Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Voted Yesterday!

Daffodils delight my eyes as I drive into Katherine’s. More and more lawns are beginning to dazzle us with the early flowering trees. Soon the native roadside trees will start to bloom—the red bud and dog wood. But if past Marches are repeated, we could still have a blizzard before then! So I am grateful for this early spring and love it that I have seldom had to wear a winter coat. A jacket will do, and sometimes I do not even need the jacket. (The winter coat may still be needed, of course.)

I am tired of all the political disarray, but I am learning a bit about issues. I had to google TPP to even know what was being discussed in one recent debate. I am grateful for intelligent discussion of what we need to know and make decisions about as a nation. I strongly prefer the town halls to the form of debate that the media presents. Not much can be explained in one or two minutes.

I skipped going to my rehab appointment yesterday to make sure Katherine was able to vote. She started weeks ago making the effort to get an absentee ballot. I walked in one late afternoon and found she had been tied up with the courthouse phone, which would not allow her to dial the needed extension nor to get off since she has to use her voice rather than her fingers. An aide helped her later to get that phone call accomplished. But instead of an absentee ballot, she received an application for such a ballot. (She did not remember it being that way in the past.) Well, the absentee ballot had to be signed—even though she can no longer write. I offered to help her, but she has an aide who is good at that, so she said Connie would do so. I thought maybe she had Connie put it in the mail, but I should have checked earlier and taken it to the courthouse, which I finally did last Thursday. (Actually it was taken to the beautiful new administration building beside the courthouse. I had never been in it before, and I was impressed. I appreciated the wide parking spaces!)

So I turned in the application, but I could not be given the absentee ballot. Legally, I was told, the ballot had to go through the mail to Katherine. Suddenly we were up against time pressure, as I was also told it had to be turned in yesterday. I checked the mail on Saturday, but it did not come. Yesterday, I waited till the mail arrived and the ballot was there! The little ovals had to be filled with a felt tip marker, and in the third room I looked in, I fortunately found one.

But then the two envelopes had to be signed by the voter. There was no provision for someone to put an X or to let an aide sign for them! Do not ask me why this is not provided for people with handicaps who cannot write. Well, after approximately 15 minutes on each “signature,” we had done the best the two of us working together could do. If you saw our efforts, you would understand why I put signature in quotation marks. I printed my name and address and then signed where I had to as someone assisting the voter. I rushed the ballot enclosed in the two proper envelopes to the clerk’s office. When I took the application for the ballot last Thursday, I noticed the big sign out front and realized people were voting. So yesterday while I was there anyway, I asked if I could vote. And I did in one of the curtained booths there is the public area; then I lined up with others who were finished to push my ballot through the recording machine.

They were several people there the entire time I was, and the workers were obviously very busy helping us and helping those coming in for supplies for today’s voting sites throughout the county. As busy as they were, the workers were all kind and helpful. The atmosphere created by the voters was equally friendly and pleasant. It made me so proud and grateful to be an American. I was so pleased for the opportunity to safely express my opinion in the voting booth. I was grateful not to have to stand in a long line as many have to do.

Gerald has just now returned from voting at our usual voting place, and now we are going to listen together to a softball game. God bless America, and may America bless God.

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