Early voting in Texas started yesterday, so Andy and I went off to the City Hall Annex to exercise our right as American citizens. On the lawn outside was a veritable forest of campaign signs for everything from U.S. Senate to Constable and other elected positions. We bypassed a couple of candidates doing some last-minute campaigning outside the polling place and were soon greeted by a huge line snaking down on side of the long hall and up the other to where you entered to vote. Along with other residents, we shuffled a few feet at a time to get to our destination past a display of paintings and photographs entered in a local art competition.
I was struck by the diversity of people standing in line. White, black, Asian, Hispanic and Middle Eastern voters were waiting with us. There were voters who looked young enough that it might have been their first opportunity to cast a ballot, as well as senior citizens and everyone in between. Two folks came with their service dogs. A father stood with his fussy baby and apparently asked his fellow voters to hold his place in line while he retrieved a bottle of formula from the car.
Finally we reached the door and were checked in by some nice volunteers who examined our drivers licenses and voting cards. Voting (my first experience with an electronic ballot) went quickly and we were out the door, passing a line which had grown even longer. It kind of restored my faith in our American electoral process that so many people in our community thought it important to vote.
I won't state my position here, but Andy and I are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. In order to keep our respective blood pressure readings in check, we never discuss politics, elections or candidates at our house. I remember when I voted in my first election. My dad, never short of political opinions, demanded to know who I had voted for in a presidential election. I replied that the last time I checked they didn't build voting booths for two, so I would keep that information to myself. Not well received.
When I picked the kids up from school, they saw my I Voted Today sticker and wanted to know whether we voted for president. Not this time around, guys.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.