The Privilege of Being Bored

Election Day is tomorrow for those of us in the United States—if the ads, videos, pop-ups, and general hysteria wasn’t a clue.  

I was thinking of repeating my “Vote or the Stupid People Win“* post of 2010 , but last Friday, I witnessed something while standing in line for early voting that is amazingly  similar to that post,** but was far more satisfying.

I shared it on Facebook at the time, but not all of you FB—or FB with me—and I think it bears repeating:

I stood in line for an hour and twenty minutes to vote today. A woman behind me was complaining constantly to her friends about the wait and being bored and how this was why no one wanted to vote because it was always SUCH an inconvenience.

Finally, a gentleman in front of us in line turned and said in a strongly accented voice, “You know, I think it is wonderful that we are allowed in this country to stand in lines in the open and be bored waiting. The first place I ever voted, we were all too afraid of being taken away and shot.”

There was some applause and no more complaints about the wait.

Furthermore, when a woman came out to tell us that there was no waiting at another place about a mile away, few of us moved.  I don’t know why everyone else stayed, but at that moment, I felt privileged to wait.

So please, if you’re able to legally vote,  rearrange your schedule and make the effort  to have your legal say about how your country is run.

It may be inconvenient, but it’s perfectly safe.

We should all take advantage of that privilege . . . lest we lose it.


*The lady featured in that post passed away last year.  She was an irascible, demanding, exacting patron and I miss her very much.

**I honestly can’t make this stuff up—and I’m really glad I don’t have to.


13 thoughts on “The Privilege of Being Bored

  1. Amen, sister. A few minutes, or a few hours—either way, it’s a privilege to be safe and to have a voice in the political process. We should all be grateful tomorrow.

    • Thanks for telling me it wasn’t there, Maddie! I really don’t know what happened with my setting.

      Being able to vote is amazing and empowering—or it should be. Besides, if we don’t vote, we rescind our right to complain about the results, right? 😉

    • I’m encouraged by all the people who came into the library today looking to vote early.

      They couldn’t, because our early voting ended Saturday, but they wanted to.

  2. I’ll be voting after work today, as the polls didn’t open until after I needed to be at work. I think the longest I’ve had to wait since college was about 10 minutes. Even if it were longer, I’d have a book to read while I waited. I’m just thankful my phone can stop ringing and the mail box won’t be so full of things that automatically go in the trash! It’s been a long ‘season’.

  3. The line for a voting booth was about 30 people deep this morning, but then people started branching off and filling out their ballots elsewhere in the room so they didn’t have to wait. I waited for a booth so it would be both more private and comfortable. I always put my ballot in the folder, too. I respect the privacy issue even though I don’t exactly want to hide the fact that I’m voting for Obama. I actually don’t like the fact that the woman working the ballot machine this morning could technically see my votes when I try to get the damned thing to accept my ballot. (Which took five tries for one of my ballot pages, by the way, and the machine was acting so finicky for a moment there that I was scared it wouldn’t accept my ballot at all or that the votes wouldn’t be counted.)

    • We noted electronically with a card inserted into a touchscreen. This weirded out my husband, who assumed at first that the card was recording the votes—instead it was confirming each voter’s access to the ballot.

      Once the voter had confirmed and finalized, the ballot printed to one side and was ‘dropped’ into the ‘ballot box.’

      It was actually fun!

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