Today I waited in line for 2 hours to vote. For me, a two-hour delay cost nothing. I didn't go without pay, or miss the next train home, or have to cover a small fortune in extra childcare simply to take the time to vote.
I hope the wait times will not be as long on Election Day. Here's what I wished I'd done before heading out:
- Dress warmly. It can be chilly in the shade of a building.
- Bring a snack. Don't vote hangry.
- Bring an extra phone battery.
- Bring earbuds in case you need to drown out a Yappy McYapperson. While I'm all for respecting people's free speech, the freedom to tune them out with a podcast or a good song is equally important.
- Someone in front of you or behind you might need to hit up a bathroom or get a snack. Be kind. Offer to hold they're spot before they have to ask.
- Stop looking at your phone every now and then and chat with your line mates. I chatted with the young woman in front of me, and she told me that sense of community, seeing your neighbors at the polls, is one of the things she loves most about election day. Eventually we might be able to vote from our computers in our living rooms. I suspect I'll look back on this day and always remembers the other women I chatted with. I like that about the voting process, even it means waiting longer than I'd like.