Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Adventures of Tammy and Gilligan

Gilligan looking at the line sizing up how long we'll be on it

Gilligan thinking about skipping out on the election (it's not like he has a vote!)
Today, I started my workday early so I could head to the polls about 10 a.m. (when I percieved the line would be shortest...the early voters should have been at work, parents voting after dropping kids at school should have made it and the lunch rush would not have occurred). I am not sure if my strategy worked out since it took me about 55 minutes.
Gilligan and I walked to the polling place (I would have run except it is only 2 days after a marathon and I am lazy). At the polling place I saw many friends and neighbors. We saw one of Gilligan's frequent sitter (and dog friend Simba's mom: Karen..who we attended Doggie Dip Day with) leaving the polling place about 10:20. She suggested she waited 90 minutes. But she did not bring her dog Simba, so it probably felt even longer.
As Gilligan and I got close to entering the building I got a little worried about what I would do with him. My intention as I was walking over was to give Gilligan to representatives from my party affiliation (hey I registered for this party, the least they can do is dog sit...they offered to drive me to the poll to enable me to vote so why shouldn't they be willing to pet sit). But Gilligan and I got in the building. We got about 10 feet in and I expected to be asked to either leave or tie him to a post outside the building, but in fact the volunteers were asking to pet him.
At one point an election official mentioned we could not have camera, phones or other devices in the voting booths. A poster was even brought out with these rules (including CFR's or whatever rules that make this a law!). But there was no mention of dogs, whew!
I made it to the location where they ask for ID. I got out my license, signed on the dotted line and seamlessly got my little voting card thing. So far my companion had made it this far. I was pointed to a booth. Gilligan stood for a few moments. I voted my heart out (president, congressman, board of education, several judges...although I have no idea how a judge affects me, well until I get carted off for bringing a dog to the voting booth:-) and a few propositions that I actually felt a bit conflicted about. In MD we do not have casino's and slot machines. There is a proposal to bring slots here (since there are slots in Delaware and West Virginia) which would raise money for the education system in the state. I think they proposed the lottery would do this many years ago but now that money is used for alot of other expenses.
There also was a referendum about voting early. I like election day being election day and after consulting with Gilligan, I voted against early voting (hey he got ALOT of attention today while on line, so I think he wants more election days and everyone to have to do it in person!).
We finished voting and walked out of the polling location. I think Gilligan was satified with this experience. While our 55 minutes was about 55 minutes more then any other day I have voted (and I have voted in every election that was available to me since I came of age in 18--thanks to this right and privilege being impressed upon me during "Girls State" which was sponsored by the American Legion!). During my 55 minutes I had a nice time (luckily the temp was about 55 degrees and there was no rain or mist). It was kind of like the bathroom lines at Marathons...I used it to chat, catch up with people and as a social occasion.
This afternoon Gilligan, Sagwa, Zaboo and Puffi have their yearly physical. I am not sure Gilligan will be as thrilled about this adventure. And I know the cats will not be thrilled.

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