Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

My intentions were good. Honest.

I researched the candidates, watched the debates, read through the voting guide, you betcha. But in the end, what I hadn't researched was how well toddlers mix with the voting booth.

I was so determined to take C to her first election, to make her part of the process. I had heard or read somewhere that polling places were even encouraging it, showing children that voting is very important, part of our American fabric. Well, sanity is equally important.

Let's just say there was lots of screaming, lots of crying and lots of "No, no, no." And C let loose herself, too.

My plan was to show C the voting process, then go to Starbucks and Krispy Kreme, where they were giving away free donuts and coffee to those who proudly displayed the "I Voted" sticker. It was going to be Mrs. Clark (and tot) goes to Starbucks ... or something like that.

I got the sticker, all right. But that's all. C terrified the voting people so much that I'm afraid instead of the hanging chad, this year people's votes won't count because of "screaming child." Forget Obama or McCain. I'm convinced voters got so flustered, they mistakenly checked the box for someone named Rocky L. Crabb. No joke.

I did read through all the ballot propositions, but the candidates for superior court judge slipped through the cracks. At some point, it's seems like going to the races and picking the best-named horse. I hate to admit it, but it's true. That's why I intentionally shied away from Mr. Crabb. I'm sure he's a lovely person, but when I'm deciding between two essentially anonymous government officials, I don't want to vote for someone just because his name sounds like a Triple Crown winner. Sorry, Mr. Crabb.

After the vote ... and this is after a nice woman offered to hold C while I voted, which only produced cries of horror from my child and after one of the volunteers hurried me to a booth to shorten the screaming time ... I presented my ballot while C continued her wailing. Another volunteer looked totally aghast, quickly ripping off not one but three "I Voted" stickers in the hopes that it would quiet her down.

It didn't, and we headed straight home. No Starbucks. No Krispy Kreme. Let's hope I can get my coffee and donut at some point today.

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