Tuesday, May 06, 2008

election day accessories

In case anyone missed it, there was a presidential primary election in Indiana today. It was very exciting for me, I've been an election junkie for years. I voted in my first presidential election in 1980 in the basement of my dorm at Purdue. I was one of the few people in the country that voted for incumbent Jimmy Carter.

I'm pretty sure that I've voted in every primary and general election since then. In the last dozen years or so, I've focused much of my political attention on the local and state elections. I study the candidates, and unlike most of my friends I can tell you what the part of our world they control.

Lots of groups have their hand in our property tax pie. It was easy to blame the high property taxes on our mayor, but he did not have as much control as say, the school board or the library board. Not surprisingly after our new mayor was inaugurated, he announced that he could not lower property taxes like he promised. Well, duh - I could have told him that!

Anyway, even before I was interested in politics, I was interested in accessories.

I bought this plastic belt in 1976 at the Danner's Store in Lebanon. I know that I wore it in my punk rock days. It was retired for decades and I've worn on election day for the last ten years. I laugh that I've managed to lose any piece of valuable jewelry, but the Vote belt has survived time, travel and accidents....

Until today.

I attended a Guild luncheon today. As I've mentioned before, I feel very self conscience around the women in the Guild. Everyone is super nice to me, but I always feel like a bull in a pen full of hens. A little awkward and afraid I'll step on something. Everyone else is so dainty and well put together.

You know where this story is going, don't you?

I got up to give my report, and someone mentioned that I'd written about the Book and Author event in my Gazette column. I was blushing as I remembered that I'd also written that before I joined the Guild, I thought you had to be blond and live in the suburbs. At that moment a plastic ring on the belt broke and the whole thing went flying across the floor. Any idea how loud plastic and metal sounds on a hardwood floor when the blood is rushing to your ears?

Next time I'll wear a pastel linen pants suit like everyone else.

After the luncheon I stopped at my polling place. The public school that I vote in has three precincts voting in one room. I was greeted with a chorus of "Hi Nora, How's Second Helpings?, When is the new grocery store opening? How is (Red Key) Russel? Hey, where's your belt?"
I signed the book, checked the box for what ballot I wanted and was asked for my ID. No problem.

Indiana has a voter ID law, that was upheld by the Supreme Court last week. You need to show a valid, state or Federal issued ID to vote.

Except it was a problem. I'd tucked my driver's licence in my shorts when I walked the Mini Marathon. I'm sure it was still in the pocket, lodged in the tiny laundry chute, halfway to the basement.

I had to got back home. Thought about retrieving the should-have-been-washed three days ago shorts, grabbed my passport instead, and went back to vote.

I did get exit polled for the first time ever.

Okay, I'm off to watch the returns.

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