Voting should be a BFD for anyone, but for me it's particularly exciting since it's only the second time (third if you count the primaries) I've done it, at least in this country.
I became a US citizen in December of 2008, so I couldn't vote in THE election yet. My initiation came in the rather anticlimactic mayoral election the following year when I got to vote for the current mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro.
This time around, I got to make up for the supposed "enthusiasm gap" (I'm so sick of that phrase it's not even funny). Follow me below the fold to see how it went.
For the last three days I had been turning my place upside down while looking for my voter registration card. I found last year's, but I haven't the foggiest idea what I did with the current one. Last year's card, however, said that one could vote without it, as long as one presented an I.D. So I armed myself with my drivers license, passport, certificate of naturalization, and my last electric bill, just in case.
I had intended to vote at the university where I work, but on the way there, I drove past the city hall of Shavano Park (one of those independent enclaves in San Antonio). I figured it would be more convenient to go in there than to hoof it all the way across campus from my parking space to the polling site.
For a place where people usually go to pay for parking tickets, it looked downright cozy. The poll workers that checked I.D.'s were church lady-looking middle aged women whom one would expect to man a booth at a bake sale. The people that walked voters to the voting machines and loaded the cartridges with the precinct numbers were sweet elderly men, the kind that normally sits outside the ice house playing domino.
For a Thursday right before lunch, the place was well attended but the lines were short. The voters were mostly Mexican-Americans of early retirement age. I guess they hadn't gotten the message that they're not supposed to vote.
I had no trouble at all, even without the card. All I had to do was show my license, and I was good to go. One of the sweet old men walked me to the computer thingies.
Having been used to paper ballots in Germany, I still can't get over those voting machines. I definitely made sure I reviewed everything twice before I pressed the "Vote" button.
My wingnut acquaintances have been saying for months how they are going to "send a message" this November. Well, I sent my message today.
To Governor Rick Perry: In the last ten years, you have made enough money to keep yourself in hair products for life. It's time to go.
To Congressman Lamar Smith: In spite of the fear-mongering mailers you keep sending me -- you don't speak for me.
To Melisa Skinner (who is running for judge): Even though your sister, whom I have known for many years, sent me a postcard begging me to vote for you, I simply cannot vote Republican. Besides, even though I am a Texan by choice, I am not impressed by your sister's bragging how many people you sent to death row. Sorry.
To District Attorney Susan Reed: Each of the many times I've seen you around town, you were drunk as the proverbial skunk. You don't need to be in office. You need to be in rehab.
To Rebecca Bell Metereau: You go, girl.
To Bill White: You may not have hair, but you have my vote.