In the past three years, my voting location has changed three times. I haven’t moved, but they keep changing it. This hasn’t stopped me from voting, but it certainly makes it more of a chore and a pain. I went and voted today as is my right and responsibility as a U.S. citizen. Getting there however, was not easy.
First, I didn’t know where the location was although the street was familiar. I put it in my GPS to be safe and ended up in an apartment complex. I knew this wasn’t right, but this is what my GPS kept telling me. I circle the lot for a second and decide to follow the guy who was also driving in circles. It seemed promising.
So I start following this guy. He was on the older side and just had that “I’m about to vote” vibe coming off. After leaving the parking lot that I was in, I only had to drive down the road a few yards to get to where I actually had to be. Mind you, I could barely tell this is where I was supposed to be. There were three balloons that were shriveled and dangling from a post. There was also a sign. It was an all-white sign with the faintest outline of “Vote Here” written in bubble letters with a black sharpie. That’s it. In my opinion, not enough: there should be no doubt in my mind where I need to go to vote. I’m talking neon-flashing lights.
So about-to-vote guy turns in here and I continue following him. We go down a short drive and there is the tiniest building. The parking lot was pathetic. And I’m supposed to vote here? There were no open spots and there were even a few areas where people had invented parking spaces. I’m driving behind this guy and wondering where the hell I am supposed to park. Part of me wanted to say fuck it and just turn around and go home. But I had come so close, I needed to see it through. Plus I knew if I left with the intention of coming back later that I wouldn’t really come back. Suddenly I see it: an open spot!
With victory in my heart, I prepare to turn into the open spot. Then I realize that while there is an open spot, it was not going to be possible to maneuver into it. See, there were two cars on either side of the spot. And BOTH idiots had parked over the line. So the space was normal-sized to begin with, but then car A determined that those lines were just there to decorate and didn’t have any practical purpose (at least that is my theory), so she parked with her tires just to the right of the line. Then car B comes along and instead of parking next to car A, decides to once again ignore the lines and park in the next spot over but on the left of the line. So there were two cars, each over the line on opposite sides of this spot so that car C (me) could in no feasible way fit into that spot without scratching the others cars. Granted, they deserved it. But car C is not mine so I really need to take care of her.
Just when I started to get REALLY angry, two people walked out of the tiny building and headed towards their cars. The first guy was in an invented spot and so about-to-vote guy opts not to use that spot and instead pulls a K turn to park where the second guy was pulling out. I was considering using that invented spot when a third guy comes out of the building. His invented spot seemed a little better, so I took that one. I park the car and head towards the building.
I open the door and look around. There are multiple doors, none of which are labeled. I turn to the left and look at the three doors. Two of them are bathrooms and one looks like a closet. I establish that this is not right and turn back to the main hall. Mind you, this is a small building and one would think that it wouldn’t be difficult to navigate, but alas I have problems. I hear voices ahead and so that is the direction I go towards next. I open the door and finally I have found where I need to vote.
It takes me all of two minutes to tell them my name, have them find my signature in the booklet, sign next to my name in the booklet, have them find my ticket, and walk over to the machine. I get in the machine and spent maybe another two minutes reading and answering all the additional questions they ask.
All in all, it took at least twice as long to navigate the parking lot as it did to vote. Why do they make it so hard? Why do they keep changing the voting locations? I think it is because they enjoy making me crazy. Although voting in this election may seem unimportant verses a presidential election, I get really frustrated when people blatantly say that they’re not going to vote. It’s your right. It is also your responsibility. But when voting ends up being this difficult, I can almost understand not going out to the polls. It certainly was an adventure, and by adventure I mean a pain in the ass.