Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A sweet Election Day? Only if you partake

I just got to work to start the most exciting night of the year for those of us who work in media -- Election Day.

One of my professors at Kent State said that if you don't get into the thrills of Election Night, you shouldn't work in journalism. I agree completely.

My own rituals on this important day involve voting just before I head off to work. My polling place in Euclid is in a church that sits across the street from my house. It's almost a shame that I drive over there, but I figure I am heading to work right after, so I need my car.

I know, I'm lazy. You don't need to tell me.

When most people think of voting, they imagine little old ladies sitting there waiting to scowl at you as you tell them your name. Oh, how times have changed. My polling place had a couple of women who appeared to be in the twenties taking the information and handing out the ballots. They moved me through the process quickly and sent me over to mark my ballots with the pen attached to the portable table.

Yes, Cuyahoga voters still use pen and paper ballots. I imagine one day we'll get into the future.

But once you feed your ballot through the scanner and head out with your sticker, you meet the evil presence at the polling place: the bake sale.

Not sure if you have the same experience, but each year there's a bake sale going on and the smell of sugar is intoxicating. This year, though, it was more annoying than alluring, because I'm still working off the sugar high that had me buzzing after Halloween. I didn't need to see cupcakes, brownies and cookies.

When the staffer motioned for me to hit the sweets table, I politely declined and mumbled under my breath that it's only been two days -- I don't need sweets.

Hope you all enjoyed as quick a visit to your polling place as I did. Experiences like this make me want to keep heading to vote in person and not by mail.

-- Laura Kessel


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