CHICAGO — Many early voters perhaps had the same plan-go early, vote and be home to walk the dog. (I overhead a conversation) But it was clearly not meant to be. The main voting location at 69 West Washington St. was bustling with eager voters and they didn’t mind the full hour it took to make a difference in Cook Country (We timed it by request from government worker). Why were so many out there voting early? Did this mean a victory for one side verses the other? Who can tell, as many were on a mission to take voting very seriously and not to talk to others as they waited, which I found strange.
City of Friendly Faces?
I found the quiet to be interesting. Many Chicagoans on average tend to chat to perfect strangers when having to wait in long lines. It’s just our nature here. In times of voting, it seems not so much-that’s the last thing citizens want to do. Many were listening to their media players such as iPods, the Kindle and retro reading-a real book. But, I’m always on a mission to find out what is going on, so I asked a government worker as soon as I got a change.
The first thing to note, is what they are wearing, you can always strike up a conversation and put folks at ease by giving a complement, though, not calculated, I found the workers boots to be very lovely, so I started there. ‘Nice Boots,” I greeted the lady, and she smiled and said the customary, ‘thank you. “How have the lines been on average today? The worker stated that if she had to guess it would be about a few thousand, up in the recent days from about a thousand since October 11 per day, when early voting started.
I’m interested in knowing if the trends of which voters were Republican, Democrat or Green Party (a.k.a. Tea Party), but of course you can’t ask these type of things, so I continued to move along like cattle from post-to-post. Then it hit me. To get in the mood of voting, as I just came back from a great rally with Bill Clinton, Pat Quinn, Alexi Giannoulias, Dan Seals and others ,who send the message to me and others, “Go forth out into the world and tell a friend and family member to vote.” I pulled out my Android phone and listened to the great 52 minute speech of Bill Clinton on September 26.
You can’t image how it feels to hear a former President speak about hot topic issues that you believe in, and knowing just two feet away (Yes, I was front and center at the rally even Giannoulias noticed I had a good view) Clinton was talking to me (just me) about making a real difference, getting out there to vote early and then make sure every friend and family member did the same on November 2, 2010. I wanted to listen to him for ever, but, as with anything, it was time to get to the main event. Vote.
Now, I’m 6.0 inches tall, and let’s just say, I was telling the masses, “why haven’t you made voting machines for tall people? The workers laughed and took me to the booth. The machines here in Chicago are very easy. They give you a white card, (after you show ID, no ID, you can’t vote) and you slide it into this slot in the middle of the machine and select your preferred language. It’s about 16 sections. The first question is talking about a constitution amended that you have to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to change regarding governor issues if we need to impeach one, (Hint: Rod Blagojevich) and then the main event. Governor, Senate, Treasurer seats and then the long list of judges to vote to stay or go. Overall a very easy process, but note, there is one question where you can vote three times, and in your review section, it will show up red, if you only picked one. You can go back and select them again, if you like.
After you complete your selections, a paper slip is printed and you get to review you choices to make sure it’s exactly what you selected. The information is recorded, and you are free to leave.
It doesn’t matter what party you are supporting, just get out there and vote. To be angry that something hasn’t worked and that you didn’t get everything you wanted isn’t the solution. You must vote for the men and women who have your core values. That will do most of what you expect.
In my next article, I will talk about the man of the hour in Chicago, Bill Clinton, because he told me I had a mission to perform, if I choose to accept it. I’m already ready, locked and loaded.