One the of the great things about living in Ohio is that it is a major swing state in national elections. On the flip side, on of the real problems of living in Ohio is that it is a major swing state in national elections.
What with this election turning out to be a historic election (just like the last one...and the one before that...and the one before that), with voters turning out in record numbers, Mindy working 45 minutes away from our polling place, and seeing as how we live in a community that is predominantly African-American, we decided that it might just be wise to try and vote early since lines at the polls on Tuesday might be quite long and we might not be able to vote then.
Luckily the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (or BoE) is have special hours for early voting. We couldn't go yesterday (see the Clambake post), we decided that today after church would be a good time. Voting on Sunday? you might gasp?? Keep in mind the previous paragraph and that not only is our duty and right as citizens to vote, but we are highly encouraged by the Brethren to do so.
We checked with the BoE's website to see what the hours were for today (1pm - 5pm) and thought, "Great! We'll just head there after we get home from church (around 12:30)."
So we drive downtown and everything's great...until we got about 1/2 mile away from the BoE. Then we saw all the traffic.
Once we found a place to park, we went to go get in line...and what a line! The line went out the door, down the sidewalk (on Euclid Ave)to the corner, around the corner, down the sidewalk (of East 30th) to the next street (Chester Ave), across and back up the other side of the street (East 30th), and around the corner, then further down the street (Euclid Ave)...
Here's a picture from when you first get on East 30th (towards the back of the line):
And here's a look once you go down E. 30th, and cross to the other side to go back up E. 30th:
Here's a quick time-line of how our voting went:
12:40 pm -- Leave home
1:00 pm -- Board of Elections opens for voting
1:05 pm -- Park
1:20 pm -- Enter back of line to vote (on Euclid Ave)
1:30 pm -- Round corner and now on East 30th St.
1:48 pm -- Stomach starts grumbling...maybe shouldn't have done this on a fast Sunday
2:25 pm -- Reach Chester Ave. Cross to other side of East 30th St. and head back toward Euclid Ave
3:30 pm -- Finally get into Board of Elections building
3:31 pm -- See that the line isn't over.
4:15 pm -- Follow line down stairs to basement...see another fun line awaiting.
4:36 pm -- Get clip-boards with ballot envelopes to fill out
4:54 pm -- Sit down with Board of Elections worker who verifies voter registration
4:58 pm -- Receive ballot and begin voting
5:03 pm -- Seal ballot and put in blue ballot box
5:04 pm -- "I Voted!"
This was Mindy's first time ever voting...I can honestly say that I don't think she'll ever forget her first voting experience! And for me, boy, did I take for granted the ease of voting back in Woods Cross, UT. In and out in 5 minutes (and a complimentary donut!).
Another thing that is great at first, but then turns really annoying, is all the political ads on TV/in the mail. Every other commercial break on TV is all political ads, one after another. It really drives Mindy nuts. And to be honest, some of them are really freaky/disturbing, but not in the way the makers of the ad intended. Here's another picture of some of the ads we've gotten. Most of what is in the picture we got today while waiting in the line to vote: