I arrived at the New Albany, Ohio church where we vote a few minutes before 6:30, when the the polls officially opened. I walked past the American flags and the signs marking the outer boundary for any campaigning, but there were no campaign workers or pamphleteers to be seen.
The parking lot was already almost full and more than 100 people were waiting in line, stamping their feet against the below-freezing temperatures on a bright, clear morning. It was the largest crowd I’ve seen at my polling place in New Albany. Some people said they had tried to vote early, but the polling stations were just too crowded.
We waited patiently to get inside, found the correct alphabetical lines for our last names, and waited again. We chatted about how glad we were that the campaign was finally ending and watched the “Youth at the Booth” kids working to get the voting machines up and running. The line moved slowly up to the registration table, where we received our vote authorization slips and then we moved to another line for the voting machines. From beginning to end, the wait was about 45 minutes — well worth it for the opportunity to exercise our most important civic right and duty.
When I left, one of the kids gave me my “I [heart/Ohio] Voting” sticker. I got in my car, turned on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and resolved not to listen to any pundits on my drive in to work.