Ready to Vote? How to stand in line at the polls

Image @globeatmica

Ok, so tomorrow is Election Day. The mid-terms are here. Political ads are polluting our TVs and littering our mailboxes. We are tired of it all, but we can’t succumb to that. We’ve gotta get out there and vote.

I voted last week and it’s because of my standing on line for two hours that I decided to share five things I wished I’d done to prepare for the whole voting experience.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. Seems easy right? I wore my fave red Converse, but forgot that while cute, they are flat w/ no arch support. A two-hour line made my Chucks feel like a pair of high heels. Wear work-out sneaks instead or shoes that give you that feel.
  2. Charge your phone. I had about 30% juice on my phone when I stepped into line. Then a voter stepped outside into the fresh crisp air with the confidence of someone who’d left work early to vote –unlike the rest of us chumps–and announced that there was a two hour wait. I’d been squandering battery life on IG. I dropped into Low Power Mode, and took a phone break before succumbing to boredom and watching two 20-minute episodes of Red Table Talk. Right when my phone was entering the red alert phase I made it to the polling booth.
  3. Bring a snack. I was hungry when I left work, but didn’t bring a snack cause thought I wouldn’t be long. Later while fumbling in my pocket for my folded ballot form (definitely fill that out before going to polls) , my fingers stumbled across a small square object wrapped in paper. I was ecstatic to find it was a red Starburst (my fave). It was stale but I savored it like it was a bite of filet mignon. I suggest a handful of peanuts or almonds and an apple. Protein and palette cleanser.
  4. Bring a partner. I did not have the luxury of having someone with me at the polls, but I can see how that would be helpful particularly w/ bathroom scenarios. My bladder could have been on fire, but I would not have left that line. A voting partner can ensure you can leave the line without your reversing back to START like in Candyland.
  5. Engage with people around you. I could have done better. Don’t be like me and engage with folks by complaining (about the line, or about the candidates). By the time I left the polling booth I felt better knowing food was coming, and so I engaged in conversation with one of the volunteers. I get it if this is not your m.o. –I’m a bit shy and an introvert unless you know me, then I’m a total Chatty Patty–but at least observe the room and get.off.your.phone!

I hope this helps you have a pain-free voting experience tomorrow.

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