Thursday, September 14, 2006


On Tuesday I voted for the first time in my new location. I went up the hill to a little bible fellowship church (one of two in my hamlet), clutching in my hot little hand several methods of identifying myself, including my driver license, my voter registration card, and two utility bills. This was necessary because two years ago a bill passed that makes it mandatory in Arizona to prove who you are beyond a shadow of a doubt, so no illegal aliens can vote. I understand that has happened, as a certain political party here allegedly recruits minorities, citizens or not, to register to vote. Tsk, tsk!

Anyway, this was the first election since I moved up here fulltime and re-registered. I entered the little hall, and was greeted by friends who worked with me in the melodrama that my church put on the past June. Even though they knew me, I still had to present my IDs. Having proven that I was indeed Marsha Ward, I got my ballot and went to my voting station, a sort of library carrel on stilts. Instead of the punch card I had grown to know and tolerate, the ballot was a sheet with bubbles that had to be filled in completely with the provided black pen. Hey, I thought I left bubble sheets behind in college!

A short time later, having mastered the oblong bubble-filling process, I put my ballot into a "privacy envelope" that neither provided privacy nor was an envelope. This I took to the next step in the voting process, a machine that sucked the ballot out of the envelope and into its bowels for safekeeping until the poll was closed.

Then I went outside and my friend Bill gave me my prize for voting, a sticker that had an American flag and the words, "I voted." I wore it all day, proudly.

When was the last time you voted?

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