It only took twenty minutes -- 0900 to 0920 EST -- to park, walk in, vote, return today. That's longer than usual, because of the length of the ballot, not the lines for Precinct 3. Forgot to look at the ballot number on the tear-off tab, but the machine which tallied my vote recorded me as number 154. Precinct 5, which is mainly GVSU students, was the only one with a line.
Many more people there for today's election than any of the primaries or other elections, probably since 4 November 2008. I'm sure this church sees a lot of the Once In A Great While people in their pews, too. (grin)
The two women ahead of me to get their tear-off tabs pulled prior to scanning their completed ballots didn't know how to vote, as in feeding the machine. That tells me that probably they don't vote much, since we've had the same system for a long time. Sigh.
The little old ladies checking the paperwork -- well, they really ARE little old ladies -- are always cheerful and were happy to see so many people turnout.
Over at the side of the big room that we vote in, there was a masking tape box on the floor and the two poll watcher chairs were occupied. One young woman appeared to be a GVSU student, the other was a 40-ish man in casual business attire. When I came in, both were intently texting on their phones, not watching. The young woman, however, did look up and smile as I passed and I told her that I hope she was having a good time. This is the first time in years that I've seen any poll watchers in Allendale.
The church lot where we vote was packed.
Steady stream of cars coming up and down the long winding drive from M-45 and any empty parking spots were only empty for seconds. There was enough coming and going that I didn't have to wait to get a reasonably close parking space.
This was probably the fullest two-sided ballot I've seen in the twenty-odd years we've been in West Michigan. Besides the major and minor races, there was a lively non-partisan race for state supreme court justices -- including the West Wing reunion ad for Bridget Mary McCormack and PSA for the non-partisan part of the ballot -- plus a half-dozen Proposals.
What does Michigan think it is, California?
The Proposals, five of them Constitutional amendments, were a real mixed bag. And the campaigns wildly insane -- one ad just said hands off our Constitution and vote NO on everything on principle. Proposal 6, a sweetheart deal by the private owners of the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor to keep their monopoly, was particularly cynical. Proposal 3 was about increasing wind and alternative power. This should be in the Constitution? Well, given the current political climate, I can see why they'd want to force the legislature and governor to comply. The only non-constitutional ballot issue, Proposal 1, was about the state's Emergency Manager law, in which the governor can appoint managers to take over local governments, and in some cases fire, the locally elected officials. Proposals 2 and 4 were about labor issues, one for government employees including police, firefighters and teachers, the other about home health care workers. Proposal 5 was about tying the hands of the legislature to make it even more difficult to raise taxes, if needed.
It's All Over Except For The Screaming
We were a purple country going into the election and I don't expect that to change coming out of it. And that purple? It's from the red and blue bruises.
Since I can't see either Presidential candidate coming away with 60-70% of the popular vote, we will still be a divided nation. The scenarios have varied wildly from a 269-269 electoral vote tie, to a 305 vote win. If we don't know the results tonight or by early morning, I won't be surprised. If a more decisive, but certainly not "a mandate", win occurs on either side, I won't be surprised either.
In any event, I've voted and I hope that if you are eligible and able to, that you have, too.
And for the record, I utterly oppose any attempts of either voter suppression or voter fraud by any side, for any reason. Anyone arguing that they can do it because the other side is doing it, is an even bigger idiot.
I figure that the last of the campaign ads will get off the airwaves by Thursday or Friday... (evil grin)