Monday, October 20, 2008
This week, all of the states where you can vote early opened up their polls. We've actually been able to vote early in Georgia for a couple of weeks now. I will be working out of town (to my great dismay) on election day, so I voted last week. I went with my sister and my 86 year old grandmother (Nanny). I was amazed at how many people were in line at 10am on a Thursday! I mean there had to have been almost two hundred people. I really wanted to take a picture with my camera phone, but I did not want to bring any undue attention to myself.
I convinced Nanny to register to vote a few months ago. She hasn't voted in like 30 years or something. However, she was more than happy to vote with us last week. Because we showed up with a senior over 75, we were ushered to the front of the line. I felt a little guilty as the line of voters snarled at us while they continued to stand in a line that they were sure not to get out of for a couple of hours.
Once we entered the voting area, I was able to assist Nanny with casting her vote. The poll worker asked me why I was assisting her since she is not disabled and she can read English. I replied, "because she's 86 ears old and she's never used a computer before." I was very proud of Nanny. I did not vote for her. She pressed all of the buttons herself. The voting quarters were so tight, you had no privacy while casting your vote. I tried to whisper as Nanny continued to ask questions about every page. I was a little nervous because I didn't want them to think I was influencing her in any way. I just kept saying, "just choose whoever you think is best Nanny." Fifteen minutes later, we both had finished voting and I felt liberated.
This election is historical for many reasons. It's personally historical for me because I had the opportunity to vote with my 86 year old grandmother, who didn't always have the right to vote because she is black and because she is a woman. She has seen things in her lifetime that are unimaginable to me, and now with this election, she will see history being made that she never thought she would see in her lifetime. So I urge you. If you can vote early, do so. And if you have someone special in your life over the age of 75, take them along and combat those long lines with your own personal senior security.