Don’t Tell Me I Didn’t Do My Civic Duty

Welcome to Charlotte, where the lines to vote early are two hours long at least…and they’re outside.

I went around 9:30, hoping to be near the front of the line when the polls opened at 11. Yes, 11! I brought a blanket for the kids to sit on, books to read, and figured that today’s school would be civics 101. It turned out to be civics (examining the sample ballot, talking about the two-party system, meeting a local candidate for judge), geography (reading the Tree in the Trail), math (counting the bricks on the outside of the library — yes, I was getting desperate), and literature (reading The House at Pooh Corner and Understood Betsy). I didn’t enter the room where the voting happened until 11:35.

We were also filmed, reportedly for Belgian TV. Anybody out there live in Belgium?

Upsides of our day: the rain held off until we were under cover, the baby slept in her stroller almost the entire time, the kids were total peaches, most of the pollworkers were understanding, the baby waited until after I was done voting to fill her diaper, nobody had to go to the bathroom while we were in line, people around us in line were understanding and very kind

Downsides of our day: it was chilly and cloudy, I didn’t bring snacks, a few pollworkers were too married to their job of directing traffic in the room with the voting machines to notice that I needed to go against traffic to fetch my children from their waiting place (I was quick to disobey with a gracious smile and an explanation.)

There was a funny moment after I was done voting when I had finally cleared all the hurdles and got the kids up from the chairs where they had been sitting while I voted. Ben said as he remained seated, “Sorry, Mom, I just need to tie my shoe.” I said, “It’s alright, honey, just a little more waiting for me,” and the entire lobby full of people (who were also waiting!) burst out laughing. I guess we went early enough that everyone still had their senses of humor.

And to celebrate the children’s behavior in line…we got McDonald’s for lunch, and Mom actually ordered HAPPY MEALS instead of off the dollar menu. The toys inside were Hot Wheels, be still my heart.

4 Responses to “Don’t Tell Me I Didn’t Do My Civic Duty”

  1. Kelly

    Wow, thanks, R. I’m honored.I should clarify that my statement in the first paragraph is not exactly accurate. My wait once the polls opened was only about 35 minutes. But I had to get there an hour and a half early to get that spot in line. By the time the polls were open, the line wound down the building and halfway around the parking lot.


  2. GrandmaK

    We voted yesterday after we finished at Mother Theresa’s Treasures. didn’t have to wait outside but it was good to do our “civic duty.” Maddy wears the sticker better than Grandpa and me.


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