Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farewell to polls: the end of live voting

2008 was a good election. . .it was the first in which most of what and whom I'd voted for actually won. As you can see from the sticker they gave me after I voted, it was also the last time I will go to the polling place. I know most people like the convenience of voting by mail. I never actually have. Call me a Luddite, or troglodyte. I like the polling place--the flags draped around the churches and Elks Clubs, schools and community centers. I like the old men and women, working for minimum wage, who regard me with suspicion, even after 20 years of voting in the same precinct. I've always missed those gigantic steel analog voting machines, where you physically pulled a metal lever. I'll miss the election monitors, the occasional exit poller, and most of all, seeing your friends and neighbors line up a couple times a year. It's progress, I guess, but it is also one more chink in the armor of communities and neighborhoods. I'll miss voting live and in person.

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