Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Of voting attempts and church ladies

This morning I voted.

My local polling place is the meeting room of a church, and as such the polls tend to be manned by elderly church goers.

There was one other voter present, just ahead of me with his young son in what technically counted as a line.  He was identified and handed a ballot, the voting-specific transaction thus completed.

One of the eldery pollworkers--a woman--turned to the little kid as I waited in line (technically).  She put on her beaming "talking to children" face and asked, "How old are you?"

"Five," he said.

"Wow!  That's the same age as my grand-nephew!  What's your name?"


"Max?" she said, her voice rising in delighted pitch.  "What a great name, Max!"

I didn't want to be rude, but I moved to draw attention to the fact that I was waiting.  Her eyes connected with mine and then turned back to Max.

"Do you know the book Where the Wild Things Are, Max?"

"Yes," Max replied.

"I hear they're turning it into a movie," the father said, his empty ballot tucked under his arm.

"Oh really?" she asked.

I was already late for work.

"I'd like to vote," I said.

Max and his voting dad took the cue and walked away.

The woman held onto her "talking to children face" and addressed me.  "And what is your last name?"


She began flipping through her registered voter list while continuing to address children.  "S...E...L..."

"No," I said.  "S..A..L..I..S..B..U..R..Y."


"S..A..L..I," I corrected.

"S...A...I..."  she turned from one page to another, having trouble finding the name that is not mine.

"No, S.A.L.I"

She looked up at me, said, "oh," and then turned back to the registered voter list.  "S...A...I..."

The elderly church man sitting next to her interrupted her.  "No, S.A.L.I."

"S...A..." she trailed off.

The man leaned over.  "Top of page two."

She flipped one page, then another.  "Uh..."

"Never mind, I'll do it, " the man said, crossing out my name.

I took the offered ballot and walked to a booth.

Go vote!

1 comment:

hadjare said...

Ha ha good story. Lucikly I only ever have to repeat my name once -- if it does happen to be twice then I say it really slow .... but I'm the only one there. I was 808 last night! We cast our ballots on photocopies.